Celebrities, charities, the tech community and No. 10 unite with youth charity The Diana Award on Don’t Face It Alone – a new initiative to encourage young people to speak out about bullying.
New research commissioned by youth charity The Diana Award has revealed that while more than half (54%) of the UK’s young people have experienced bullying behaviour, many have been left feeling alone (40%) and young people and parents alike struggle with fears that stop them from speaking out and asking for help.
More than a third (41%) of young people said that fear of making the bullying worse would stop them from speaking out. A quarter (25%) said they would feel embarrassed, 24% said they didn’t think they would be taken seriously or that nothing would be done about it. Despite their initial concerns around reporting bullying behaviour, three quarters (75%) of young people do believe that speaking about it would help them feel better.
These statistics come as The Diana Award, launches the inaugural Don’t Face It Alone campaign. A nationwide initiative, to encourage young people to speak out about bullying and provide free resources to help them, their guardians and teachers stamp out all forms of bullying for good.
The campaign, supported by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador for the Department of Education, Dr Alex George, unites a multitude of tech companies and charitable organisations to encourage schools across England to participate in this ongoing commitment to raising awareness, and support to help encourage more people to speak out about bullying.
Technology and social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon Kids, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, Microsoft, Yubo, SuperAwesome and, First News, Nominet, Sky Kids and Supercell are backing the campaign with donations, in-platform awareness and continued investment in more tools to help young people speak out and report online bullying.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a VIP reception at 10 Downing Street this week in celebration of the launch of Don’t Face It Alone. The event was attended by Diana Award young ambassadors and supporters of the charity including Dr Alex George.
A number of the social media and technology companies have agreed to continue to look at the issue of bullying prevention and youth safety.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street yesterday to celebrate the launch of Don’t Face It Alone and show support to the young people whose voices have help shape the campaign.
“Bullying in any form is completely unacceptable and should never be tolerated. The more we speak up about it, the harder we can work to stamp it out – so I applaud The Diana Award for their important campaign, which will provide vital support to those who are suffering.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
“At least one child in every classroom experiences bullying every day, and we are increasingly seeing that it continues online via social media platforms, messaging and even online gaming. Don’t Face It Alone aims to encourage the nation to have the conversation around bullying, showing young people they are not alone. No one should feel worried or embarrassed to speak out if they are being targeted. We want to help schools, parents, guardians and young people speak out and support each other when they see or face bullying online or offline. We are so grateful to have the support of the Prime Minister, the tech community and our fellow charitable organisations, to raise awareness and help stamp out bullying in all its forms for good.”
Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award
“Facebook and The Diana Award have partnered to tackle bullying for a number of years. The launch of this new campaign gives young people a way to speak up and ask for help to escape the devastating impact bullying can have. Parents, carers, educators and social media companies can all help spot and stop bullying and we want the people who use our apps to feel supported and safe. We’ve launched features on Facebook and Instagram to give people more control, remove or block unwanted interactions and ways for people to report bullies without them being notified. No one should have to face bullying alone – it’s only by working together and supporting each other that we will eradicate the stigma of bullying from our society.”
David Miles, Head of Safety Europe, Middle East and Africa, Facebook
“Everyone should feel safe expressing themselves both on and offline. At Twitter, we’re committed to protecting freedom of expression and empowering every voice, that’s why over the last number of years, we’ve expanded people’s ability to have more control over their online experience e.g. now allowing people on Twitter, particularly those who have experienced abuse, to choose who can reply to the conversations they start. We stand united against bullying with The Diana Award. This campaign will play an important role in encouraging those who are bullied to share their experiences with others and importantly, equip schools, parents and young people with the supportive tools they need.”
“We, as an industry, have an opportunity and responsibility to provide spaces, tools, services within our games to ensure young people can play, socialise, and just be themselves without the pressure of bullying and harassment. By creating fun and safe playing experiences our games can be played by as many people as possible, enjoyed for years and remembered forever. This campaign will allow us to work alongside young people to find better solutions for today, and for the future!”
“SuperAwesome exists to make the internet a better place for young people, and that mission extends far beyond compliance with digital privacy laws. It also means fostering moderated, non-toxic online experiences and communities in which youth audiences can safely express themselves. We are proud to support The Diana Award and its Don’t Face It Alone campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effects of bullying, an issue so prevalent in the digital space, and give young people the tools to speak out and support each other.”
“Nominet is extremely proud to be partnering with The Diana Award and to have underwritten its ‘Don’t Face it Alone’ campaign platform. We believe in making the world more connected, inclusive and secure, and over the last few years we have focused our efforts on social impact causes and initiatives that specifically address the issues faced by young people in the digital world. Cyber-bullying has a particular set of challenges that are different from bullying in the offline world; it is just as problematic to address but can be more difficult to spot, and even tech-savvy adults can find it distressing to cope with, which is why young people are often unclear about where or how to seek help. The ‘Don’t Face it Alone’ campaign, and #speakoutaboutbullying, provides that essential support for both young people and the adults who care for them, by increasing awareness about bullying in all its forms, encouraging more open discussion and debate, and finding ways to face down bullies, whether on or offline, in a collaborative and inclusive way.”
Eleanor Bradley, (Interim) CEO of Nominet
“We are proud to support The Diana Award and its Don’t Face It Alone campaign. The findings of this important report highlight that young people need to be armed with effective tools to call out and stop online bullying. We have introduced new features to combat bullying and promote kindness on TikTok, including new comment controls, reporting tools and prompts which encourage people to think before they comment. These steps and today’s report both bring us closer to a shared goal: creating a safe environment where users can express joy through creativity.”
Rich Waterworth, General Manager, TikTok UK & Europe
“We are proud to be partners of the Diana Award, supporting the vital work they do to develop and inspire positive change in the lives of young people. At Snap, we are committed to ensuring that our community has a safe and positive experience on our platform. As such, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying, harassment or intimidation of any kind and offer a range of in app resources to anyone looking for support. The ‘Don’t Face It Alone’ campaign is a really important message: we all have a responsibility and an opportunity to look out for each other. We hope that our community by using this nationwide filter is inspired to speak out about bullying wherever they see it”
Henry Turnbull, Head of Public Policy, U.K. and Nordics at Snap
“If more than half of all children were being physically attacked in our schools, there would be outrage. We can, and must, do more to support the 54% who have been mentally assaulted and we should be proud of those who are brave enough to stand up to bullying either at school or online. It’s why the work of the Diana Award is so important and why we encourage everyone to take Microsoft’s Digital Civility Challenge, committing to four basic tenets: 1) always acting with empathy, compassion and kindness; 2) respecting differences; 3) pausing before replying to things you may disagree with, and 4) standing up for oneself and others when it’s safe and prudent to do so. For more on the Challenge, visit: www.microsoft.com/digitalcivility”
Hugh Milward, General Manager – Corporate External and Legal Affairs, Microsoft UK
“Prevention and education of young people have always been our priority at Yubo, along with providing effective tools and building a reactive safety team able to support our users. Supporting this campaign of the Diana Award is part of our continuous efforts to promote good behaviours and bring kindness to our community. It is only by working together that we will put an end to bullying.”
Marc-Antoine Durand, COO, Yubo
To date, over 35,000 young people have been trained as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in 4,000 schools throughout the UK and Ireland by The Diana Award. This network of young people develop and share best practices and have been trained to provide ongoing peer support to their cohort. The programme, which has backing from England’s Department for Education, Facebook, Instagram and Nationwide Building Society has received hundreds of positive endorsements in Ofsted school inspection reports reducing bullying and increasing safety and wellbeing.
The Diana Award offers their Anti-Bullying Ambassador training free of charge to schools across the UK. To sign up for training, advice and support visit antibullyingpro.com and follow The Diana Award social channels.
For further information and to download free resource packs visit www.dontfaceitalone.com
Twitter: @dianaaward @antibullyingpro
Instagram: @dianaaward @antibullyingpro
About the Survey
The study, which surveyed 1,000 parents of 9-16 year olds and 1000 9-16 year olds, also found that young people are most likely to report bullying to their parents, but parents too appear to be struggling. Over half (54%) would worry about worsening the problem for their child were they to report it, while others would hold back in the fear the school would not take it seriously (43%). More than one in five (22%) would be concerned about judgement from other parents.
While 82% of young people who have experienced bullying behaviour said it took place at school, the problem does not end at the school gates. Almost a third (32%) said it happened on social media, while one in five have experienced it on online gaming platforms (21%) or via text messaging platforms (20%).
When asked what social media and gaming companies should do to help young people when reporting online bullying, almost half said reporting (47%) and blocking (44%) should be made easy to do, and that they should be quick to respond (45%). Two in five (42%) said perpetrators shouldn’t be able to do it again on any account.
Fieldwork dates: 29th June – 5th July 2021
Methodology: 1,000 9-16-year olds in the UK and 1,000 parents of 9-16-year olds interviewed online. One Poll abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
The Diana Award are privileged to be invited to the ‘My Life My Say’ Next Gen conference on the 25th November. We will join around 500 young people and a series of renowned speakers from the world of activism for an exciting day that will explore youth-led solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society.
Five young people share their thoughts and feelings about bullying in their own words, including one of our very own Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
Due to the ongoing support of our incredible corporate partners, The Diana Award were able to expand our anti-bullying efforts across 2023. This Anti-Bullying Week, we wanted to spotlight a few partners, highlighting how they have helped The Diana Award stand up to bullying across the UK.