Bullying is a serious health risk.
Did you know that bullying is a major risk factor for poor physical and mental health? Those who bully, or have been bullied, experience significant challenges forming lasting relationships, integrating into work and becoming economically independent as adults. (1)
What is bullying?
Bullying is based on an imbalance of power. People of all ages use factors like age, popularity, social status, size, physical strength, money, possessions, or information/expertise to gain unhealthy power over others. Bullying is mean, cruel, hurtful behaviour. It involves using power in a negative way to hurt others. (2)
The bullied - and the bully - are hurting.
Youth exposed to violence exhibit increased rates of depression, aggression and delinquency, perform worse in school, and more often engage in risky sexual behavior. Combined with the desperate need for belonging that all youth experience as they enter high school, bullying can be perceived as a way to “fit in” and find protection among peers.
"Bullying is a direct threat to the health and wellbeing of the children we work with. We know that being victims of bullying makes kids more likely to engage in risky behaviours, cave to peer pressure, and make unhealthy choices."
- Joe Calendino, Yo Bro | Yo Girl Executive Director
Bullying is one of the reasons why youth join gangs.
Teenagers are ideal new recruits. At-risk youth, who are looking for a place to belong, a sense of family, and a promise of protection, are more easily recruited to gang membership because their vulnerability. In the city of Surrey, research from the RCMP shows that gang members are typically 16 years old when they commit their first crime and that an average gang member is just 23 years old. (4)
We can stop bullying before it starts.
At Yo Bro | Yo Girl Youth Initiative, we recognize that at-risk youth need a safe place to connect and grow with people who understand them. We also know that young people have inherent resilience, and if given the opportunity, can overcome significant hardship and trauma. Every year, our team connects with hundreds of kids to turn high-risk situations and behaviour into resilience, courage and strength.
On National Anti-Bullying Day, February 27, let’s stand up to bullying.
Preventing bullying starts by creating safe and healthy community for at-risk youth. When youth in Metro Vancouver are connected to their schools, communities, and support networks, they have a sense of belonging and a reason to become the best version of themselves. Your partnership ensures at-risk youth the opportunity to be free from bullying.