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Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 13:12 GMT
Bullying cases 'frighteningly high'
bullying
Many children are victims of bullying, charities say
The number of young people who suffer at the hands of bullies is frighteningly high, a children's charity warns.

The children's helpline ChildLine says calls about bullying have increased dramatically since the charity was launched 15 years ago, with more children calling about this than any other subject.

Types of bullying reported to ChildLine
Name calling and teasing 64%
Physical 26%
Verbal or written threats 12%
Extortion 8%
Isolation 3%
Racist 3%
Sexual 2%

Many children experience more than one form of bullying, so percentages do not total 100%
It is thought one in 10 children are bullied at school, almost twice the number a decade ago.

The warning came as a 16-year-old school girl died after taking an overdose of paracetamol.

Elaine Swift's father claimed she was the victim of bullying at two schools.

Both schools have defended their policies on bullying.

'Frightening'

ChildLine said bullying had been the top concern for callers over the past four or five years, beating other worries, such as family break-ups, exam stress and physical or sexual abuse.

ChildLine
ChildLine took 22,372 calls about bullying last year alone
"It's frightening the size of the problem we're hearing about and the effects it has on them," said ChildLine spokeswoman Alison McKay.

"We're talking 20,000 children counselled for bullying last year - now bear in mind we can't take every single call so there may be other children out there who aren't getting advice from us," she said.

Many children feared that speaking out about the problem would serve no purpose or even make matters worse, she added.

See also:

28 Nov 01 | England
13 Dec 00 | UK Education
05 Nov 01 | UK Education
29 Mar 01 | UK Education
24 Jan 01 | UK Education
08 Nov 00 | UK Education
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