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Macmillan takes part in The Big March to beat cyberbullying

More than 7 in 10 European citizens believe their government is not doing enough to tackle bullying in schools and even more believe not enough is being done to tackle cyberbullying*, research from BeatBullying, Europe’s largest anti-bullying NGO, revealed last week.

Macmillan is participating in Europe’s biggest anti bullying campaign, The Big March, organized byBeatBullying with other European organizations. The innovative digital protest march is funded by the European Commission, and aims to protect European children from bullying and cyberbullying.

With the most extreme cases reaching local headline news in Spain, there are many others that do not come to light. “We, in Macmillan, have to help break this silence and make sure our young people are educated to know what Cyberbullying is, how it may affect them and how they should go about dealing with it”, says Marta Martínez, Managing Director of Macmillan Spain. “That’s why we support The Big March”.

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The Big March, to be celebrated across websites in March 2014, calls for pan-European action on bullying across all levels of society:

  • The EU institutions are being asked to observe an awareness day against bullying in Europe and to introduce new laws to protect the right of European children to go online without fear of being bullied or harassed through a directive to tackle online bullying across member states which includes a framework for cross-border cooperation and intervention
  • Governments of member states are being asked to promote the issue of bullying up the EU agenda and implement the EU anti-bullying strategy in full, including the Laws introduced in the new directive
  • Local Government and Schools are being asked to review their approach to cyberbullying to ensure children and young people have the protections and support they deserve
  • Citizens are being asked to demand politicians take action by supporting The Big March, and to take personal responsibility and reporting negative online behaviour wherever they see it.

The research represents preliminary results from the biggest ever European survey on bullying of its kind. BeatBullying is calling on European citizens to contribute to the research, and show their support for bullied young people across Europe by signing up for The Big March. To march alongside The Big March supporters, log on to bigmarch.beatbullying.org.

Emma-Jane Cross, CEO of BeatBullying said, “Early results from our pan-European survey tell us that the citizens of Europe want more to be done to tackle bullying and cyberbullying. It is clear that bullying is a Europe-wide issue, for which we need a Europe-wide solution. “The Big March gives everyone the opportunity to take part in this debate, and put pressure on European governments and institutions to take decisive action to support the 25 million children across Europe whose lives are being ruined by bullying. “We urge the citizens of Europe, schools and NGO’s and companies alike, to join The Big March, and help change young lives forever”.

*Figures quoted represent preliminary results of an online survey conducted by BeatBullying. Respondents are a self-selecting sample of 249 EU citizens age between 7 and 69 years old, distributed unevenly among 22 member states. The statistic quoted is for respondents that answered the questions: ‘Do you think that the government is doing enough to tackle bullying at school and in your local area? Options: Yes/No/Don’t know’ and ‘Do you think that the government is doing enough to tackle bullying on the internet or on mobile phones? Options: Yes/No/Don’t know’. The survey is available in four languages (English, Spanish, French and German). Final and complete results will be published in March 2014.