As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, the Love is Louder movement and Harlequin TEEN’s new novel Speechless partnered to help everyone understand how we can prevent bullying and support each other. As part of the partnership, we are giving you the opportunity to hold a Speechless Book Party to help promote Love is Louder and commit to ways you can use your words and actions to help others. We also conducted a national survey of over 1,500 females between the ages of 16 and 21 to better understand how bullying impacts their lives and how we can work together to make things better.
Here’s what we learned through our research:
It’s a big issue and we all have to do something about it.
The research showed that bullying and body image are the most important issues facing teens today. 78% said bullying is worse than their parents think.
Our words can cause a lot of hurt.
Nearly 60% believe that the most hurtful type of bullying is emotional – like ignoring people or starting rumors. Over 70% said they considered gossip, spreading rumors and name-calling types of bullying. Even though most of those surveyed seem to understand those behaviors are bullying, 30% admitted to calling someone a name during the last 12 months and 37% said they had gossiped about someone.
Parents can help.
Only 50% said they’d had conversations with their parents about bullying, but most of those who did said they felt better and more prepared to deal with bullying afterwards.
Sharing our stories can help.
Nearly 75% said that hearing the stories of people who have overcome bullying makes them hopeful that bullying can be stopped. The most helpful stories are those that come from friends.
The results show there are things we can do to prevent bullying and help ourselves and others feel better. But it’s important we take action now. Nearly 70% believe the effects of bullying last a lifetime. The good news is that 88 percent feel bullying is never acceptable, period.
What does this research mean for you?
- Think twice before you use your actions or words in a way that will hurt others. This includes spreading rumors and talking behind peoples’ backs.
- If you are having a hard time because you feel bullied or mistreated, talk to someone. Our study showed parents can help, but if you aren’t comfortable talking to a parent….reach out to a friend, family member or someone you trust in your school or community.
- If you’ve overcome bullying, share your story because it can help others. You can post your story or a video on the Love is Louder Facebook page. If you are still struggling with bullying, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get messages and stories that you can give you hope and help you focus on the good stuff in your life.
Here are some ways you can start taking action right now:
- Plan a Speechless Book Party for you and your friends.
- Download our Action Kit to plan an event for your school or community.
- Reach out for help if you or a friend are having a hard time.
- Take a #loveislouder pic and upload it to our Facebook page.