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National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence – March 17, 2023

Australia gears up to observe National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence on the third Friday in March every year. This year, it takes place on March 17. On this day, educational institutions work with school-based communities and students, to find easy and workable solutions to address and prevent bullying. Begun by a major Australian bullying prevention initiative, Bullying. No Way!, National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence hopes to build lasting solutions to bullying in schools around Australia.

History of National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

Bullying — acts of repeated aggression meant to hurt and disturb — is not a new concept at all; history clearly shows us bullying has existed for centuries. Old documents from the 18th and 19th century reveal physical harassment was common among the youth, and would often lead to death, strong isolation, or extortion.

Bullying was so common that people barely bothered to study this behavior seriously initially. The media in some countries like the U.K., Japan, and Korea would publicize incidents of bullying, but even so, large-scale research into bullying was rare, at least until the 1970s.

Bullying might just be something our ancestors passed down to us, according to scientists. The theory is that behaviors that appear across cultures and races are usually a part of evolutionary history. The earlier forms of bullying (before language was invented) might have predominantly featured physical acts of aggression. Back then, bullying and aggressive behaviors were individually advantageous, granting people prime status among their peers and groups. They could take mates, assert their dominance, and even protect their young if they exhibited such behavior. Survival of the fittest, quite literally.

Then, languages developed, and so did the forms of bullying. Words were wielded as weapons, first in person and then over a screen as technology took our interactions online. Today, online forms of bullying are just as common – if not more – than bullying in person.

Many countries, organizations, and educational institutions globally are taking note of this problem and are addressing bullying through various initiatives. National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence is one more event that supports this cause.

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence timeline

Mid-1980s
Studying Bullying in Asia

Japan studies 'Ijime,' becoming one of the world's first Asian countries to ever study the effects of bullying.

1992
Workplace Bullying

In the first (known) use of the term “workplace bullying,” the British BBC broadcaster and journalist Andrea Adams writes “Bullying At Work: How to Confront and Overcome It.”

2005
Bullying Has No (Geographical) Boundaries

A multinational study covering 28 countries shows bullying is very common; there are no countries where bullying is not present in some form or the other.

April 13, 2011
Setting a Precedent

An Australian college fails to protect a student from being bullied, gets sued by the said student, and loses the case, making this the first time a school board has been found guilty in a bullying case.

2021
Large-Scale Celebrations

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence is held with a bang, and 66% of Australian schools join in to act against bullying.

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence FAQs

What day is National Anti-Bullying Day?

National Anti-Bullying Day first originated in Canada, where it is observed on the last Wednesday of February. It has now been adopted globally and is celebrated on different dates in different countries.

Is Blue Shift Day anti-bullying?

STOMP Out Bullying, a U.S.-based anti-bullying and cyberbullying organization, established Blue Shirt Day or World Day of Bullying on the first Monday in October, to kick off National Bullying Prevention Month.

Is there a ribbon color for anti-bullying?

People can use any color to denote anti-bullying. So far, common anti-bullying causes have used blue and pink as primary colors.

How to Observe National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

  1. Address the issue

    Talk to kids about bullying and teach them how to stand up to it. Go ahead and share your experience with bullying, share examples of people who stood up to bullies, and how your kids can do the same.

  2. Get schools involved

    See what anti-bullying measures educational institutions around have, and lend your support to their cause in any way you can. You could also open a conversation with local schools to figure out ways the entire community can help.

  3. Find resources online to support you

    Check out various anti-bullying websites, read literature on the subject, and strategize various ways you can get your message across — to students, teachers, and parents. Everyone has a role to play in preventing bullying, and this might be yours.

5 Important Facts About Bullying

  1. Physical school environments could reduce bullying

    Increasing kids' playground interactions, showcasing school values including a no-bullying policy, and eliminating blind spots so adults can supervise students at all times help reduce incidences of bullying, as per various studies.

  2. Bullying is not only a human trait

    Animals go through it too — bullied rats lose their appetite, and bullied baboons get beaten up.

  3. Bullying meant something quite different once

    It meant 'sweetheart' in the 1530s, eventually taking on the worse meaning of “harasser of the weak” in the 17th century.

  4. There are different names to describe it

    If done by a group, it is called mobbing and when it is in school or the workplace, it is also called peer abuse.

  5. Bystanders are very important

    Saying something against bullies can prevent this behavior while staying silent will only encourage bullying.

Why National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence is Important

  1. It speaks to an important cause

    Bullying is not just an isolated incident, but a harmful pattern of behavior that affects children and adults all over the world. The more programs we have on bullying prevention, the more awareness we raise about this cause.

  2. Gives students a stronger voice

    They can then use this voice to speak out against bullying. Young students are also empowered to join in this global conversation and send a powerful message that bullying is not to be tolerated.

  3. Brings the community together

    When people unite for a common cause — in this case, bullying — they bring together an entire community of like-minded people. The sense of social connection and belonging such communities provide inspires more and more students to speak out against bullying, which helps prevent this behavior.

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence dates

YearDateDay
2022March 18Friday
2023March 17Friday
2024March 15Friday
2025March 21Friday
2026March 20Friday

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