Words can hurt and they can stay with you for a lifetime. That’s why it’s cruical for children to learn about acceptance and understand that other people’s individuality shouldn’t make them a target of abuse. This is the reason why Stonewall’s No Bystanders campaign is so important.
Stonewall’s aim is to end bullying, abusive language and discrimination of all kinds. Words have the potential to impact on a persons mental health, be the cause of self harm and the reason why young (and older) people take their own life.
As I was growing up I was always told that school days were the best days of your life… allow me to roll my eyes and sigh because that was far from the truth. I found school to be a cruel place, children could be so mean, a lot of the time because they thought it was funny and acceptable to say such hurtful words.
I was never one of the popular girls, I didn’t have perfect hair or skin, infact it was the complete opposite (lots of frizz and a multitude of spots!). I was what you’d call an outcast but I was happy being left alone.
Through my older years at school I’d done well to blend into the background, that was until someone found out I’d kissed a girl at a friends gigs. I dreaded going to school because I couldn’t bare the tought of having to face the comments and names. It was sad because I felt like that kiss had ruined everything. Our friendship was never the same again, simply because of the hurtful words from a group of teenage girls. All these years later I still remember their words.
That’s why I’ve pledged to never be a bystander to bullying and teasing language. If I hear it, I will call it out and if I can, I will stop it. By pledging I’ve promised to stand up for fairness, kindness and never be a bystander. 🙂
Watch Stonewall’s No Bystanders short film…
You can also take the No Bystander pledge here!