The Duke of Cambridge has recorded a video message urging people to put a stop to bullying, as part of the first ever National Stand Up To Bullying Day, an initiative supported by The Diana Award charity.
The message was recorded at Kensington Palace in May following a round table discussion with Diana Award recipients and supporters. Prince William made it clear that bullying is not just confined to schools, but can affect anyone irrespective of age, gender, sexuality, race or religion.
The Duke revealed that over 16,000 young people in the UK are absent from school each year because of bullying, and said that it is”our collective responsibility to be alert, and to be ready to challenge the behaviour we see around us.”
“We all have a role to play to ensure that we do not standby, but instead stand up, and put a stop to bullying,” he added.
YouGov carried out a survey of 2,000 adults in Britain between the ages of 18 and 55 and asked them questions about their experiences with bullying. The research, commissioned by The Diana Award, showed that more than two-thirds of the people questioned knew someone who had been bullied. Additionally, 81 percent believed that bullying is commonplace in school, while 64 percent said that it is prevalent throughout society.
Putting a stop to bullying is a cause that is particularly close to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s hearts. The Duchess has personal experience with the problem, having been bullied as a child, and the couple even asked for donations to anti-bullying charities in lieu of wedding gifts.
Today is the first ever national #StandUptoBullying day!
🎥 Watch The Duke of Cambridge Stand Up to bullying →https://t.co/xEGnZJKzk6
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 5, 2016
The Duke of Cambridge’s full statement can be read below:
“Bullying is an issue which can affect any one of us, regardless of age, background, gender, sexuality, race, disability or religion. It can happen for many reasons, it is often stupid and cruel, and can take many forms.
And the reach of technology means it can feel unrelenting, leaving the victim feeling attacked, powerless and isolated. For young people in particular, bullying can have a profoundly damaging and long-lasting effect.
To shatter their trust in relationships and faith in the world around them at such a young age can have a lasting impact on their mental health and state of mind.
It is important that we recognise that bullying is not just confined to the playground or classroom, and it does not only affect children and young people. It exists all around us – in people’s homes, in their workplaces, and in their wider communities.
Research shows that victims of bullying can become more susceptible to depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, and experience difficulties in maintaining healthy relationships.
This cannot be allowed to continue. And it is why I am supporting The Diana Award Stand Up to Bullying Campaign. It is our collective responsibility to be alert, and to be ready to challenge the behaviour we see around us.
We all have a role to play to ensure that we do not standby, but instead stand up, and put a stop to bullying.”