“Statistics show that one in four bullying perpetrators end up with a criminal record before the age of 30 years. This is proof that the act of bullying damages both the victim and abuser.”
LEGAL Aid South Africa will conduct outreach campaigns at schools in the Northern Cape to prevent bullying and physical violence during Child Protection Week, which runs from May 30 until June 6.
The programme will be held at primary and secondary schools in Kimberley, Colesberg, Upington, Prieska, Groblershoop, Grootdrink and Niekerkshoop.
Legal Aid SA provincial communications practitioner Boitumelo Boshupeng said the campaign aimed to educate pupils on the legal ramifications of bullying and the possible offences children could be charged with for being bullies or participating in bullying activities.
“Bullying is certainly not only limited to the school environment but schools are unfortunately one location where children face increased exposure to acts of bullying and other forms of physical violence at the hands of their peers. The national Department of Basic Education has expressed the importance of parents and communities actively participating in addressing and promoting school safety, as they are well-positioned to see to it that children are safe wherever they are,” said Boshupeng on Monday.
The provincial executive for Legal Aid SA in the Western Cape and Northern Cape, Nolitha Jali, said that bullying and aggressive behaviour contributed towards low self-esteem.
“Statistics show that one in four bullying perpetrators end up with a criminal record before the age of 30 years. This is proof that the act of bullying damages both the victim and abuser. It is important that we educate children on reporting acts of bullying,” said Jali.