Anti-Bullying Week is observed every year in the third week of November. This year it is held from November 14 to 18. Recognizing that bullying has a long-term effect on the victim’s mental health and quality of life, the holiday seeks to combat bullying by encouraging a zero-tolerance policy. Schools and communities can set up systems to eradicate bullying and build a safe community that welcomes everyone with open arms. Anti-Bullying Week takes place in the U.K. and involves thousands of schools, coordinating with hundreds of volunteers at the student and teaching levels.
History of Anti-Bullying Week
In 2002, the U.K.’s National Children’s Bureau (N.C.B.) and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (N.S.P.C.C.) established the Anti-Bullying Alliance. The Anti-Bullying Alliance, hosted by the N.C.B., aimed to give knowledge about all forms of bullying experienced by children and youth. Through membership, they shared best practices, supported learning, offered national and local programs, and raised awareness through Anti-Bullying Week. The first Anti-Bullying Week took place in 2004, from November 22 to November 26. Anti-Bullying Week has a different theme each year.
Anti-Bullying Week 2012 marked the 10th anniversary of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, focusing on the theme “We’re Better Without Bullying.” Jessica Lee M.P. hosted a Parliamentary Reception for the organization. The Young Mayor team members, Council for Disabled Children, the volunteer police cadets, and Changing Faces gave presentations on their experiences and listed priorities for future anti-bullying projects. They had a live web show with “Made in Chelsea” actress Millie Mackintosh, where Mackintosh discussed her background with bullying and gave advice for youth going through the same experience.
The Anti-Bullying Association introduced “Odd Socks Day” in 2017, starting on the first day of Anti-Bullying Week. Odd Socks Day celebrated diversity and helped raise awareness. In 2020, over seven million young people participated in Anti-Bullying Week. More than 100 members of school staff and 300 youth helped develop the theme “United Against Bullying.”
Anti-Bullying Week timeline
Ross Ellis establishes Stomp Out Bullying.
California enacts the first law against cyber-bullying in the U.S.
New Jersey schools adopt the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.
Rebecca Sedwick, a victim of bullying, commits suicide, leading to the arrest of two girls who allegedly bullied her.
Anti-Bullying Week FAQs
What is the color for the anti-bullying week?
People wear pink colored shirts on this day to stand against bullying.
Who organized Anti-Bullying Week?
The Scottish anti-bullying agency “Respect Me” organized Anti-Bullying Week.
What is the purpose of Anti-Bullying Week?
Anti-Bullying Week raises awareness of bullying and discusses ways to prevent and respond to it.
How to Observe Anti-Bullying Week
Wear odd socks
Wearing odd socks symbolizes our differences. It's a subtle way to say that people should be themselves and that we should accept one another by celebrating our differences.
Pledge your support
Sign up to pledge your support on the anti-bullying U.K. website. You'll receive a certificate to display in your school, workplace, or organization.
Reach out on social media
Social media is a great platform to promote anti-bullying. You can also stand against cyberbullying by reporting malicious and offensive content.
5 Important Facts About Bullying
Bullying affects education
Almost 160,000 teenagers have skipped school because of bullying.
Stepping in makes a difference
57% of bullying situations stop when peers intervene on behalf of the bullied student.
Reporting is an issue
Older students are less likely to report bullying incidents, which is why it's so essential for others to intervene on their behalf.
Calling it out
Labeling incidents as bullying influences whether students tell an adult and how the adult will respond to the incident.
Types of bullying
Verbal harassment is the most common form of bullying at 79%, followed by social harassment at 50%, physical bullying at 29%, and cyberbullying at 25%.
Why Anti-Bullying Week is Important
Challenging and changing it
Though bullying affects millions and often leaves its victims feeling hopeless, it's a problem we can tackle. By challenging it, we change it. It all starts by reaching out.
Providing emotional support
We get to show our support online, at home, in our community, or at school. By reaching out to victims of bullying and those we trust if we need to talk, we provide ourselves and others with emotional support.
Making a difference
This week we get to make a difference in the lives of those being bullied. See what you can do today to stand up against bullying. Advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.
Anti-Bullying Week dates