Bullying is currently one of the most pressing issues in Lithuania, especially in school. According to the World Health Organization, Lithuania has the highest prevalence of bullying among pupils comparing to other 43 European countries.
School must be a safety island for a child. Unfortunately, reality differs. Aggression in schools is a problem in many countries around the world. Bullying is a relationship problem in which power and aggression are used to cause distress to a vulnerable person. The World Health Organization`s survey shows that in Lithuania 11 years old children are the most bullied and 15 years old children are the ones who bully the most. Also a higher percentage of boys (36%) reported being bullied than girls (32%) and higher percentage of boys (40%) than girls (28%) report that they have bullied others.
The bullying in schools can manifest in many different ways, for example:
- Beating, bad gesturing.
- Verbal attacks, intimidation.
- The destruction of personal belongings,
- Sexual harassment.
- Ignorance, isolation from group.
The manifestation of bullying is a very difficult process which can be caused by various reasons:
- Child`s personal trait (temperament, traumatic experience)
- Child`s family trait (strict education or no education in family, aggressive behaviour in family, violence, etc.)
- School`s psychological surroundings (competition, depersonalization, focusing on results instead of relationships).
- Bad education systems.
- Violence in television and internet.
The number of programs and projects aimed at reducing the amount of children suffering from bullying and violence in Lithuania is growing. Various programs aim to educate parents, teachers and children about damage of bullying and ways to stop bullying. Lithuania participates in many regional and international projects those main goal is to reduce the amount of bullying in Lithuania. Also every year we have “Week without bullying” which contains various lectures, events on bullying topic all over the Lithuania.
One of the most active organizations in Lithuania which is working towards prevention of bullying is “Vaikų linija” (eng. Children`s line). It is a service of emotional support for children and teenagers, which provides free and anonymous help through telephone and internet. At the moment help is provided by more than 200 volunteers. This organization prepares preventive projects, they are collaborating with well-known people from Lithuania who talk about their experiences also they create movies and short videos about bullying.