Everyone knows the harmful effects that bullying can have on a person — especially on children. That’s why Children’s Ombudswoman, Margrite Kalverboer, wishes to make bullying a criminal offence in the Netherlands.
According to RTL Nieuws, Kalverboer wishes to criminalise bullying amongst children in the Netherlands. She believes that not enough is being done to help children who are bullied currently, and that stricter measures should be made to combat the issue.
“Maybe bullying protocols are not enough, and you have to criminalise bullying,” said Kalverboer in an interview with AD. 🙅🏻♀️
She continued, “The consequences of bullying are life-long.”
Bullying not taken seriously
Kalverboer notes that bullying is often downplayed and not taken seriously. She believes that although some people believe that being bullied “makes you tough” it actually makes your life much more difficult.
In order to better understand the causes, effects, and approaches to bullying, an online questionnaire was made on the Children’s Ombudsman (kinderombudsman) website.
Children are the experts
“Unfortunately, children are the experts by experience when it comes to bullying,” says Kalverboer. She believes that their opinions are extremely vital to understanding the phenomenon.
She also adds that adults are not the best source, as they may underestimate the issue because it’s been a long time since they were bullied themselves and they don’t remember how bad it was.
Conversations about bullying rise by 50%
According to De Kindertelefoon, a Dutch children’s hotline, conversations about bullying rose by 50% since schools reopened after the second lockdown in April 2020.
It was also reported that 66% of children didn’t feel helped after talking to someone about the issue.
Many children suffer from anxiety, loneliness, and low self-esteem as a result of bullying. Kalverboer wishes to find solutions to the bullying problem — one potential solution is by making it a crime.
What do you think about criminalising bullying in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!
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