National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence inspires advocates

Griffith resident Joel Harrison

Griffith resident Joel Harrison

Griffith resident Joel Harrison said it was his experience of cyber bullying that inspired him to help other teens, tormented online. 

The young Riverina man said he wanted to let victims know they were not alone. 

His words come as National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence inspired anti-bullying messages across social media on Friday. 

Mr Harrison took to Facebook in December, creating a page to share inspirational information, quotes and photos. 

He said his experience over the years had made him stronger and his goal now was to urge others to seek help. 

“There is always someone who will listen,” Mr Harrison said. “I’m tougher now and excited for the future.”

Referencing national statistics, Wagga’s Respect Awareness Group president said one in every four high school students were affected by bullying.

Specifically, Ronda Lampe said it was cyber bullying was the most worrisome. 

“It can’t be traced,” Ms Lampe said. “If someone wants to be nasty, that’s how they do it.”

She said it wasn’t up to teachers to show children and teens how to be polite – it was up to parents. 

Ms Lampe said respect started in the home, around the dinner table.

She said it seemed some of societies values were being lost as youth crime continued to plague the region with break and enters, graffiti and domestic violence now common place. 

“In a nutshell – treat other people like you want to be treated,” she said. “It costs nothing and it costs no time.”