‘Bullycide’ - an alarming concern

2017-07-04 06:00
 Photo: kalisha naickerA pupil supports anti-bullying.

Photo: kalisha naickerA pupil supports anti-bullying.

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IN the past few months, school bullying has made headlines in surrounding areas, with many stories of suicide, linked to bullying, have become common.

Local community crime watch groups, police, schools and organisations against bullying and suicide aim to end this new pandemic facing the youth of today.

According to SA Community Crime Watch founder Steven King said in South Africa nine percent of teen deaths are due to suicide.

“In the 15-24 age group, suicide is the second leading, and fastest growing, cause of death. Children as young as seven have committed suicide in South Africa.

Every day 22 people take their lives. Suicide is on the increase, and the question is, why?

“One of the leading causes are bullying. Bullying is abusive behaviour by one or more pupils against a victim. Physical or psychological intimidation creates an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse.”

King said children and teens who are bullied are anxious, tense and afraid.

“It affects their concentration at school and results in a drop in school performance. Bullying affects the victim’s self-esteem and they might withdraw socially and become depressed.

“Some may take weapons to school for protection or consider suicide as the only escape.

Suicide caused by the effects of bullying has become such a problem that there is now a word for it – ‘bullycide’,” said King.

He said with SA Cares (a division of SACCW), they deal with at least 20 to 30 suicidal people a month countrywide and through their missing persons division search and rescue the individuals before they harm themself.

“We have had the unfortunate situation also where we have found the person dead.”

King said he would like to get an anti-bullying club started among the Upper Highway community to help pupils who are bullied.

He is appealing to anyone with the expertise on the matter, and volunteers who have the time and skills, to contact him.

King is also asking victims to come forward so help can be sought out for them.

To find out more, email sacomcrimewatch@gmail.com or contact 082 920 5799.

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