Today is Pink Shirt Day. Over the month of February, and throughout the year, CKNW Children’s Charities’ Pink Shirt Day aims to raise awareness of these issues, as well as raise funds to support programs that foster children’s healthy self-esteem. Since 2008, net proceeds of over $1.8 million have been distributed to support youth anti-bullying programs in British Columbia and throughout Western Canada. In 2017 alone, Pink Shirt Day was able to support programs that impacted more than 59,300 youth and children. As past beneficiaries, we are so grateful for the movement Pink Shirt Day has started.
“I had no one to play with because sometimes my friends don’t let me play with them. Now that I have a Big Sister, I don’t feel sad or like no one likes me anymore because she’s really nice and she cares about me.”
Little Sister Amy
Did you know that 50% children in the Lower Mainland are affected by bullying1?
In fact, Canada has the 9th highest rate of bullying in the 13-year-olds category on a scale of 35 countries. Research also suggests that the effects of bullying do not disappear with time2. Individuals who were formerly bullied were found to have higher levels of depression and poorer self-esteem at the age of 23, despite the fact that, as adults, they were no more harassed or socially isolated than comparison adults. Children who bully may turn into adolescents who sexually harass, become involved in delinquent or gang-related behaviours, or engage in date violence. As adults, these same individuals may display harassment in the workplace or may commit spousal, child, or senior abuse.
59% of Canadians said they suffered abuse by bullies as a child or teenager and 45% believed they suffered lasting harm as a result.
2013 Ipsos Reid Market Research Survey
Mentoring is a proven solution.
Clearly, bullying is a problem in our schools. Luckily there’s something we can do. Mentoring programs improve a young person’s ability to connect with family and peers, which builds their resilience and guards against bullying. It impacts not only the individual and their close circle, but strengthens the community as a whole. Mentoring essentially helps create safer schools and communities. Girls who have a positive mentor are less likely to engage in destructive behaviour such as bullying, fighting, binge drinking, drug use or dropping out of school.
Girls with a Big Sister are four times less likely to bully than girls without a mentor.
2013 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and the Centre for Addition and Mental Health Longitudinal Study
Here’s how you can help.
At Big Sisters, we rely heavily on our generous volunteers, donors, and supporters. Without these wonderful people and organizations, we wouldn’t be able to reach the over 800 girls every year who struggle with challenges like bullying, isolation, poverty, abuse, social anxiety, low self-esteem, and more. Will you help us support more even girls in 2018?!
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