Innovative new anti-bullying website stymie.com.au allows bystanders to speak up for their bullied peers by providing a platform for them to make anonymous notifications.
AUSTRALIA HAS THE HIGHEST incidence of teenage bullying in the world, alongside Kuwait and Qatar.
In 2012-13, the documented number of bullying-related suicides in Australia was 7; students ending their own lives due to an overwhelming feeling of isolation and rejection incited by their peers. And these figures are conservative.
New website stymie.com.au encourages bystanders to speak up for their peers by making anonymous notifications through their site. The notifications can include evidence such as screen shots of Facebook conversations or text messages and are automatically forwarded to the appropriate adult at their school. The first point of conversation will be the student who is being bullied — they will know they are not alone.
Director Rachel Downie says:
“We never know how deep a person’s level of despair is. Stymie notifications will let the person experiencing harm know that others really care. Parents and schools can give their support earlier in the bullying cycle, rather than when it is too late.”
Operating nationally and independent from schools, Stymie offers a sense of safety in the crowd. Their aim is to harness the power of bystanders to change the 'culture of acceptance' of bullying in this country; a problem even the government admits is endemic.
Stymie is working with schools to reduce prolonged periods of harassment and to teach bystanders their social responsibilities in the cycle of bullying, by supporting the launch of their site in schools, with candid information sessions to staff, students and parents.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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