March 3, 2024

“Bullying can affect anyone. Talk to your children” is the motto of the initiative launched this Tuesday by the National Police and the Mutua Madrileña Foundation to raise awareness of this problem among the families of children who suffer, cause or witness aggression in their classes or through digital devices . “No child is safe from this type of violence”, stressed the general director of the Police, Francisco Pardo, who has described the harassment as a “nightmare and misfortune” for those who suffer it. It has also focused on children who exercise it and their families, who have an important role in preventing and preventing it. “It is a serious scourge that is not a matter of children, but a social responsibility. So that it does not occur, we must fight from all the vantage points”.

The initiative, which is aimed at mothers and fathers of both victims and bullies and witnesses, has three audiovisual pieces -the first video can already be viewed- that reflect the emotional impact suffered by those involved in situations of bullying, and highlights the importance of talking with minors to avoid being a victim or perpetrator of this violence. These videos will be broadcast on the channels of both entities. In the case of the National Police, their social networks reach more than 7.5 million people, while the Foundation reaches 1.5 million homes of its policyholders on a monthly basis. “It is a question that has to do with human rights and it is necessary to row together to reinforce that basic element of coexistence that is respect,” Pardo emphasized.

More awareness

He State Study on School Coexistence in Primary Education Centers, published at the beginning of May by the Ministry of Education, concludes that 9.5% of students in this stage say they have suffered bullying and 9.2% cyber bullying, although other studies raise these percentages. Most of the minors who are victims of bullying are between the ages of eight and 13, according to statistics from the Citizen Participation Units. “No one is safe,” the director general of the Police has reiterated.

Pardo explained that one of the positive conclusions of this study is that there is “a good general climate”, but 7.7% of families think that their children may have been victims of bullying, “a reason to activate ourselves as a police force ”. In addition, she has underlined “the intense work” of the body with the prosecutor’s offices, judges and social services and has sent a message of “confidence and hope” to parents affected by this “complex” problem. “The protection of the most vulnerable is a priority for the National Police and it will never cease to be, since it is as high a priority as fighting terrorism or cybercrime”, she has assured.

Presentation of a campaign by the National Police and the Mutua Madrileña Foundation to fight bullying, at the Mutua Madrileña Business Center, on June 7, 2023, in Madrid (Spain).
Presentation of a campaign by the National Police and the Mutua Madrileña Foundation to fight bullying, at the Mutua Madrileña Business Center, on June 7, 2023, in Madrid (Spain).Carlos Lujan (Europa Press)

According to studies on bullying in Spain carried out by the Fundación Mutua Madrileña and the ANAR Foundation, a bullied child takes 13 months to tell someone, 36% hide it from their parents and 90% of the victims develop psychological problems ( anxiety, depression and permanent fear). In addition, in 75% of cases the victim is harassed on a daily basis and in 52% the harassment lasts for more than a year. The most common forms of harassment, for his part, have been listed by the general director of the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, Lorenzo Cooklin, are: insults, nicknames or mockery (80%); isolation (40%); spreading rumors (36%); beatings, physical violence (25%); and, robberies (20%).

On the other hand, the five most frequent signs that, according to psychology professionals, are presented by a child or adolescent who is being bullied, are: low mood, sadness, feeling of emptiness; lack of interest in the ordinary activities that he used to carry out; psychosomatic disorders such as headaches, stomach aches, fever; not wanting to go to the educational center; and, symptoms of anxiety, lack of sleep, loss of appetite.

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