When I was younger, I was on the receiving end of racist and then homophobic bullying. I decided to stand up instead of standing by and came up with the idea of student anti-bullying ambassadors. There are nearly 40,000 anti-bullying ambassadors trained to prevent bullying in schools across UK, Ireland, and further afield! I was made a Queen's Young Leader for my work.

Ahead of our upcoming anti-bullying bullying campaign I want to hear your questions and experiences.

PROOF: https://i.redd.it/zebkmls07h591.png

Comments: 61 • Responses: 12  • Date: 

WildFeraligatr34 karma

What does bullying look like to you? Speaking as someone who was on the receiving end of bullying for many years, a lot of it was very subtle/psychological partly because it came mostly from girls rather than boys. I've just tried to read your info packs but can't do so without signing up to something that's still an extremely triggering topic for me

AntiBullyingPro20 karma

We like to define it as behaviour that makes you feel upset, unsafe or uncomfortable and repetitive. And usually where there is a power imbalance. We see a lot of comments about that subtle and psychological behaviour, and indeed now we cover much more about microaggression, and emotional bullying.

Hear you on the issue being triggering, we try and track how many people take part in campaign but we do have lots of free stuff on our website www.antibullyingpro.com and on our youtube. Also recommend chatting or sounding out any friends, colleagues about whether they experienced , it always amazes me how many people have been affected, our stats show in Great Britain, half of adult were bullied at school. So you may find strength in fact others you know have also experienced it and can support you.

Spartanfred1049 karma

With the proliferation of social media and cyber bullying that chases children and adults everywhere, where does the line stop? Like, how on earth is their any ability to disconnect when our lives are broadcast 24/7 in 4k hi-def?

AntiBullyingPro13 karma

This is the question!

Yeah when I was growing up, games were not interactive or connected and the internet still dial up, it is very hard to disconnect. We still know for children, that actually school remains more of an unsafe place compared to internet. e.g- 150 million across globe. Half of world’s teens experience peer violence in and around school – UNICEF. BUT it is often what happens at school, drama there, that continues as digital drama. It's why we think not enough time is focused on educating young people on their behaviour while they are at school because they continue this behaviour online, and children usually bullied online by a peer, a familiar face (granted this may be changing as more young people widen their online connections/networks and become influencers).

I work with a lot of the companies on their trust and safety councils and like the tools many are introducing to limit their time spent online but it's going to take a lot of future generations, training and parenting I think to change the pressures that online brings. It's why we are keen to use this campaign to encourage people to speak out and be aware of online bullying and the importance of reporting.

Spartanfred104-9 karma

Great answer but it doesn't really answer my question, take America for example, states are actively passing laws that will allow bullying from adults and children against a miniscule percentage of the population. If our own institutions are promoting bullying of minorities then how the hell are we supposed to stop bullying?

Like in Ohio, the Trans athletes bill literally targets one person in the state is an alternate on a fastball team, they might as well call it the, "Fuck Amber bill." How do we combat the backsliding of the world when it's clear that the hate is coming from the "responsibility party?"

AntiBullyingPro5 karma

True, the complexities of state law vs country etc is problematic as we seek consistency (and of course fairness) and ideally global coordination and partnership but getting governments to work together on internet laws or bullying laws or human rights is hard.

I can only say/hope that with more programmes like ours, anti bullying/prevention in schools promoting what we want to see more of, maybe future leaders and policy makers will be more compassionate and kinder but it's a great question, not sure I know what solution is though!

Locoj6 karma

I was, by most definitions of bullying (your own included), bullied at school over numerous things, mostly undesirable and non cooperative traits such as whinging, snitching, being too individualistic and not working with the team etc. I view this sort of "bullying" as genuinely beneficial for my development. Groups of children made it clear my behaviour was not appreciated, unlikely to be tolerated, and there may be potential repurcussions for it. This helped mould me into a better person and I was MUCH better off learning this lesson from some high school kids who'd tease me a bit than learning it later in life when I'd potentially be punished by the state or hardened criminals for my behaviour, or even just receiving negative repercussions in jobs and careers, relationships etc.

Where do you think the line should be drawn between truly damaging and unreasonable bullying, and bullying being a normal and healthy social adaption to behaviours, particularly social ones, that are undesirable within society?

To be clear I'm not talking about instances such as yours where you seem to have been targetted unfairly and excessively for non behavioural traits such as your race and sexuality. However, most definitions of bullying, including the one you've given in this thread, say that any behaviour that makes you upset and is repeated counts as bullying. Obviously tormenting children for their base traits that have no bearing on their ability to co-operate in society is bad and we should work towards reducing this. But I do think the broad definition of bullying as anything that makes people upset and involves a power imbalance is a bit of a stretch, and definitions/ semantics aside I really do think children making others upset for their undesirable and non cooperative traits is greatly beneficial to the child and wider society in the long run. Seeking to stop this ever occuring would do nothing but temporarily placate the feelings of some people.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Do you agree that bullying in the form I've described can be a positive social adaptation? Or are you genuinely trying to stamp out anyone ever feeling bad?

Hope this doesn't come across too confrontational, its a topic I've been reflecting on a little myself lately so would love some insight and opinions from somebody so deep in this space.

Edit: forgot to mention this. Someone I know did some social science courses at college learning about bullying in the way you've defined it. His take away from this was to berate his parents for asking him to pick up bread from the shops. The request was upsetting to this person, there was a power imbalance, and it wasn't the first time he'd been asked to get bread. From their college learnings based on these definitions he genuinely regarded this as bullying and unreasonable behaviour. Anecdotal sure but when talking about bullying most info is anecdotal. It's clearly a problem when we're teaching children that being asked to do very simple 2 minute tasks for the good of their entire family is bullying.

AntiBullyingPro5 karma

Sorry to hear your experience. I think there is a big difference between unkindness and bullying, we all face and deal/need to deal with unkindness and be resilient. But someone going out of their way to make you constantly feel upset, unsafe or uncomfortable is not ok, and can studies have shown have a negative impact on long term wellbeing and mental health. No one should have to survive instead of thrive, especially young children due to bullying.

Hear you on the life lessons, and if you're saying that your own behaviour or conduct towards others wasn't great. We all need those lessons and advice, but not to detriment of our social and emotional wellbeing, so I would say no one needs to be constantly bullied, as it sounds to me like there are better ways to help someone reflect on their own traits than being bullied or forced to change.

I believe there isn't valid reasons to go out of your way to target someone who has done nothing wrong. So that's where I would personally focus.

It sounds like you do feel your experience was positive and you were not scarred, so I am glad to hear that. But I would say not everyone is that resilient or able to cope.

Super interesting and do hear similar a lot, some even say bullying is character building or made them a better person but sadly can't say that is case for everyone.

I also wouldn't want being asked to do a chore (reasonably and not 24/7) to be classed as bullying either.

5SSSH5 karma


5SSSH6 karma


AntiBullyingPro4 karma

I would add, in terms of supposed royal protocol, no complaints from Palace... so far :P we know them well.

I have not, I need to read it, what did you think?

5SSSH6 karma


AntiBullyingPro8 karma

Thanks, useful, and must get around to reading!

I really like the work Dr Amy Orben and Professor Andrew Przybylski do around online bullying, check out their work to try and balance over worrying about online vs offline

I have also contributed to this journal https://ibpaworld.org/journal/

superjeegs4 karma

Thanks so much for what you’re doing and for taking the time to do an AMA 🙂

Have you ever met someone through your organisation who had a profound effect on your life? Like a really memorable encounter?

AntiBullyingPro19 karma

Thank you! I love this question, yes so many, and actually on our youtube (link above) you will find some truly amazing stories.

I think one of them has to be a boy called Tom who was 16, he had moved schools due to bullying and was at a brand new school when we trained him as an anti bullying ambassador, (His job was to stand up instead of standing by and educate his peers). He was so open about his experience and the homophobic bullying he had experienced that his story made me realise, (yes a 16 year old, when I was like late twenties) made me realise how I needed to be braver and more open about my own sexuality. Really powerful moment, me sitting behind a camera listening to his story, and realising I had to be more visible and open.

The 2nd person, is an actor, called Will Poulter (google him) and he has become a friend, he even dressed up as Sid from Toy Story for us!

superjeegs4 karma

Ohh yes I know of Will Poulter 🙂 Thanks for answering! 30 years old over here and being inspired by Tom - what a lad!

I wish you all the best in all you do ♥️

AntiBullyingPro6 karma

100% I am now 34, by the way, so was while ago, children really are the future, I remain hugely impressed and optimistic about future generation!

928949526202737493831 karma

Since learning about the pink slim, I'm curious how organisations are structured. Could explain how much goes where? Thank you. Forgive me if this is not the proper venue.

AntiBullyingPro8 karma

If you are referring to income/fundraising, in UK all charities have to publish their accounts, so you can see ours online via google/charity commission.

Also recommend looking at NCVO website, and Civil Society Media.

[deleted]0 karma


AntiBullyingPro7 karma

All Uk charities have to publish their accounts and regulated by a charity commission. You can find ours online. We don't give money direct to those experiencing bullying (half of uk children and half of uk adults bullied school) but we do a lot of training and support in thousands of schools, links are above in bio ^

aeonion-6 karma

Do you believe all bullying must be rejected? bullying at some degree is used as a social regulator , its useful as a exploring tool of social standards, nobody should be ever subjected to mockery but if a kid goes dressed as a literal clown it is very naïve he wont get laughed at

AntiBullyingPro2 karma

'nobody should be ever subjected to mockery- I agree to extent but, would even add 'constant mockery', as again a joke, banter, should and can be harmless and if it wasn't then as long as person knows, and it does not continually happen, then we can forgive and forget. Have to give people the benefit of the doubt. And unkindness will occur, we can certainly make spaces like schools, online communities and platforms safer and kinder but not completely, so we have to be resilient to brush off unkindness and not label everything bullying.