Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

February 15, 2012 09:00 ET

Half of All Canadians Are Bullied as Child or Teen

Mentors Seen as Effective Force Against Bullying: Survey

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 15, 2012) -

Editor's Note: There is a photo and video associated with this press release.

Half of all Canadians adults were bullied as a child or teenager according to a new survey. Moreover, an overwhelming majority of Canadians (85 per cent) believe that providing children and teenagers who bully others with a volunteer mentor is an effective way to reduce bullying.

Conducted by Harris/Decima for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC), the poll examined attitudes about bullying. The survey also studied the value of mentoring as a way to prevent abusive behaviours and help those who are bullied to rebuild their confidence and self-esteem.

The Harris/Decima survey shows clearly that the frequency of bullying is widespread and that Canadians are both deeply concerned about bullying and ready to act against this damaging form of abuse.

Key Findings

  • 95 per cent of Canadian adults surveyed believe people have a responsibility to take action to stop bullies.
  • 89 per cent believe bullying poses a serious threat to the long-term well-being of children and teenagers.
  • 50 per cent of Canadian adults surveyed were bullied as a child or teenager.
  • 62 per cent of those who were bullied believe they would have benefited from having a volunteer adult mentor to help them cope.
  • Nearly a third (30 per cent) think the abuse they suffered had a lasting harmful effect.
  • 87 per cent of adults surveyed agree that action to reduce bullying strengthens communities over time.

BBBSC commissioned the survey to mobilize Canadians to take action to reduce bullying in their communities. From February through April, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across Canada will be holding fundraising bowling events that offer people a powerful way to reduce bullying and its hurtful effects in their communities.

Called Bowl for Kids Sake, this unique fundraising campaign challenges individuals and businesses to "step up to strike out" bullying in Canada by supporting the work of volunteer Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

"Canadians universally understand that the friendship and guidance of a mentor is one of the most effective ways to prevent abusive behaviours and help those who have been abused," says Bruce MacDonald, president of BBBSC. "By giving children and teenagers the guidance they need to become the positive and caring individuals they are capable of being, we can steer them to a positive path in life."

The one-on-one and in-school youth mentoring services provided by volunteer Big Brothers and Big Sisters have proven to be instrumental in reducing bullying and other related negative behaviours such as lack of interest in school; truancy; low self-esteem and drug and alcohol abuse.

"We are doing the best we can to stop bullying, but more volunteers and financial resources are needed to get the job done," says MacDonald. "Mentoring programs can significantly contribute to reducing bullying and its harmful effects. We invite Canadians to take a stand by participating in the Bowl for Kids Sake event nearest them.

"People who accept this invitation will help local kids today and make their communities stronger tomorrow."

People and businesses can donate to the Bowl for Kids Sake campaign or volunteer to fundraise by visiting Canadians who want to stop bullying can also contact their local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency for information about local Bowl for Kids Sake events.

BBBSC's Step Up to Strike Out Bullying Survey was conducted by Harris/Decima via their telephone omnibus between January 5 and January 8, 2012, with a national random sample of 1,034 adult Canadians aged 18 years and over and is considered accurate to within ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

For nearly one hundred years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a positive difference in the lives of our nation's youth by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring programs. Serving as role models, our mentors teach by example the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, and of having respect for family peers and community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada provides quality mentoring services for more than 33,000 children and teenagers. Big Brothers Big Sisters currently has over 25,000 volunteer mentors working at 123 agencies that serve children in over 1,000 communities across the country. Learn how you could start something at

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