Kind.Safe.FairRAP teaches children empathy, compassion and respect. It empowers them to make changes in their own lives and creates Upstanders out of bystanders. Register your school now to download everything your school will need to deliver RAP to your students.
The Respect Ambassador Program (RAP) is a violence prevention program.
RAP runs counter to most popular thinking about bullies. The core theme is to have compassion and empathy for the bully. Our program has been delivered to more than 30 schools in Victoria and Tasmania with enormous success.
To find out more about why our program is so successful, watch our video
RAP teaches children what respect ACTUALLY is!
RAP is a violence prevention program. It breaks down respect into age appropriate concepts & develops these skills through an interactive mix of media, art, role-play & mindfulness. It uses positive psychology, emotional intelligence & bystander education to promote prosocial behaviours. It proposes a unique model of peer education, through creating student Respect Ambassadors.
A Compelling Case for Change
Bullying in schools across Australia is taking a huge toll on Australian children and their families, and is happening at great expense to the Australian government. Early prevention programs are vital to protect the health and wellbeing of young Australians, their families in the future and to reduce the unnecessary load on the Australian government’s budget.
According to an Alannah and Madeline Foundation report published by PwC, almost 25% of Australian school students, 910,000 young Australians, experience bullying at some stage during their time at school. An estimated 45 million bullying incidents happen each year in schools by 543,000 bully perpetrators (PwC, 2018).
Impact of Bullying
When the prevalence of bullying is paired with the short-term and long-term impacts of bullying for both the bully victims and the bully perpetrators, it is clear that there is a compelling case for change. Being bullied at school can have the short-term effects of social isolation, days off school, a lack of concentration in class and feelings of low self-worth. The long-term impact of continued bullying and these short-term effects are staggering. As a result of bullying:
- victims’ job prospects and income potential are reduced due to time spent off school and impacted concentration on learning during the school day;
- victims are more likely to suffer from chronic health problems as a result of bullying, including obesity, eating disorders and mental health conditions;
- perpetrators are 3.5 times more likely to continue bullying beyond school, resulting in intimate partner and family violence, with all of the long-term effects of violence then impacting the perpetrators partner and children;
- perpetrators are more likely to commit crime in their adult life, resulting in incarceration;
- victims are more likely to commit suicide than young Australians who have not been bullied at school;
- victims of bullying can become bullies themselves, with 218,000 victims turning on other people each year, perpetuating the cycle.
These costs to both individuals and Australia’s economy in the long-term demonstrate the importance of early prevention. Bullying prevention is worthy of time and investment by schools and other organisations working with young people.
Stand up to Bullying
Unfortunately, there are several significant barriers schools and other organisations face in challenging bullying behaviour. Predominantly, research shows that most bullying in schools is covert bullying; these are behaviours that aren’t easily detected by bystanders, teachers and parents. 61% of students who have experienced bullying have experienced covert bullying, with 16% of Australian students reporting that they are covertly bullied every few weeks or more often in a school term (PwC, 2018). Covert bullying includes spreading rumours, hand gestures, threatening looks, blackmailing and purposeful exclusion.
Given the prevalence of covert bullying and it’s hidden nature, the best prevention approaches arm students with the skills, motivation and empathy to stand up to bullying in their schools. Students in both primary and secondary schools across Australia need to be given the opportunity to learn to stand up to bullying when they see it.