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October is More Than Halloween: National Anti-Bullying Month

Halloween isn’t the only important thing in October.


October is widely known as National Bullying Prevention Month. This nationwide campaign was founded by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center in 2006. It was created to raise awareness about bullying in schools, workplaces, and communities around the world.


You may be wondering, “why is a college student writing about bullying”?  Bullying still very much exists around us, even though we’re in college and are considered “adults”. According to a survey conducted by Health Day News, “15% of college students reported being bullied and nearly 22% reported being cyberbullied.” Bullying doesn’t just cease to exist after the K-12 level.


STOMP Out Bullying, another anti-bullying organization, deemed the week of October 16th, 2017 as Stand Up For Others Week. The Health Day News study also found that 42% of college students had seen someone being bullied by another student and 15% had seen a professor bullying a student. This particular week in October is dedicated to encouraging those people to stand up for their peers if they witness them being bullied.


There’s various ways that we can stand up for our fellow classmates when we see them being bullied. Coming from someone who has had a personal experience with bullying, every bit of help matters.


Stop the Gossip

If you hear a rumor going around about someone (and yes, rumors still float around on college campuses), just put a stop to it. Don’t pass it along. Even if you don’t personally know the person it’s about, put an end to the potentially humiliating situation.


Confront the Bully

Bullying can be anything from a simple “name-calling” over social media to physically attacking someone. If the situation feels safe enough, say something to the bully. Simply letting them know that what they’re doing is wrong and is making them look bad might be enough for them to stop. Your voice matters.


Tell Someone

If you see that someone is suffering from bullying, tell someone. Tell anyone. Tell your advisor, a professor, a dean, a counselor, a health care worker. Again, your voice matters. College students are less likely to get help for themselves because they are embarrassed, so getting help for them might be exactly what they need.


Simply knowing that someone is on their side can make the biggest difference to a person being bullied. So this week, and every week for that matter, stand up for someone. You never know what might have happened to them if you didn’t.


To learn more about these campaigns or what you can do to help, visit http://www.stompoutbullying.org and http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/.

Victoria Price is a sophomore strategic communicatons major at West Virginia University. She is emphasizing in public relations and minoring in law and legal studies, with hopes of attending law school after graduating with her Bachelor's degree. Aside from being a member of Her Campus, Victoria has written for Ed on Campus, WVU's student magazine organization. 
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