This week is anti-bullying week.
According to Anti Bullying Alliance, 33.5% of children in England say they have been victims of bullying in the last six months.
Birmingham lifestyle blogger Louna Walker, 23, shares her experience of bullying and how she overcame these external challenges.
Louna is working alongside the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity campaign ‘Fight For All The Feels’ – a campaign aimed to raise awareness on mental health impacting Birmingham youth .
Her journey started when she was 6 years old, after she developed trichotillomania. A stress disorder that makes you pull your hair out, causing Louna to be a target for bullies in school.
Louna felt she was an easy target for bullies due to her choice in music and height, as she was labelled an ‘geek’, ’emo’ and ‘midget’ during her school life.
Louna fears children are unaware the effect words can have and recognises a need for schools to take a stand.
She said: “They should emphasise the consequences bullying has at a young age. It caused me to starve myself and I developed anorexia. I think people need to realise how damaging a comment can be to someone.”
She now raises awareness to prevent others from feeling isolated before opening up about bullying.
“As much as I told my tutors and asked for help, I wasn’t taken very seriously. When I was physically assaulted, the boy who head-locked me and gave me whiplash only got a day exclusion.Louna Walker
Dr Elizabeth Nassem, consultant and researcher at BulliedVoices said bullying is entrenched in children’s everyday experiences of school.
“Bullying is often accepted and normalised, it often remains unchallenged and thrives in schools, workplaces and communities.”Elizabeth Nassem
In order to combat bullying, Elizabeth thinks schools should “find tailored ways” to address “children’s specific experiences of bullying.”
Elizabeth runs interventions for children who are bullied improving the way they react in hostile situations.
Martha Evans, Director of Anti Bullying Alliance believes community effort can help tackle bullying.
“It’s clear that bullying remains a significant problem for children across the country, and we know that these experiences can have a lasting impact well into adulthood.
If you or someone you know is being bullied, get help and advice here.