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Friends Online Report 2016

One of three girls and one of four boys have been
subjected to online sexual harassments in the past year.

Friends Online Report 2016

Friends is an non-profit organization, dedicated to the prevention of bullying. We educate and support schools, pre-schools and sports clubs throughout Sweden. Our vision is to see young children and adolescents grow up in a safe and secure society where all are treated equally.


AUG 2016

Friends Report 2016

The results show that four of ten students feel unsafe somewhere at school. Also, one in four students are afraid to be alone at recess.

13,245 students from preschool to grade 3 have answered questions about safety and security, wellbeing and degrading treatment in their everyday at school.

— Several of the young people I have met through work tell me that their prolonged exposure started already in preschool. My conclusion is that we need to give the youngest ones a safe school, then the risk of being exposed later in life will diminish, says Friends’ Secretary General Lars Arrhenius.

– This emphasizes that the preventive work needs to start early, which is one of Friends’ demands. With preventive work we have everything to gain, both on human and socioeconomic levels. Our report “the cost of bullying” shows that bullying occurring in Swedish schools during one year costs society 17.5 billion SEK during the next 30 years.

Friends has, like earlier years, also asked questions to students in grade 3-6 and 6-9, and staff. Other interesting results from this year’s questionnaires:

  • 7.5 % of students in grade 3-9 have been subjected to bullying in the past year.
  • One of five students in grade 3-9 have been subjected to degrading treatment by another student in the past year.
  • 19% of students in grade 3-6 subjected to degrading treatment say it was related to the country they were from.
  • 11% of students in grade 6-9 subjected to degrading treatment say it was related to their ethnicity.
  • Both bullying and acts of degrading treatment are more common among students in grades 4-6 than in grades 7-9.

– Teachers, preschool teachers and other staff have to get a reasonable chance to meet the Swedish Education Act’s demand on their efforts to create a safe school environment. The responsibility rests heavily on the school authorities, says Lars Arrhenius.

Read Friends Report 2016

The report is based on data from Friends’ analysis service, where 34,319 children and adolescents have answered questions about safety and security, bullying and degrading treatment. The respondents comprise 13,245 students in preschool to grade 3, 11,000 students in grades 3–6 and 10,074 students in grades 6–9. The staff survey had 3,567 responses. Of these, 2,938 were teachers and 118 were school administrators. The participating schools have not been chosen by Friends, but all have chosen to have Friends assist them in identifying and analyzing the situation in their respective school.

For more information, contact:
Anders Gustafsson, Public Relations Manager Stiftelsen Friends
Phone: +46 70 725 54 13

JUN 2016

The price of Bullying

– Money is really not what interests us in the first place. The highest price is human, and it is paid by the children subjected to bullying and violations. But when our politicians receive figures on the economic losses of society due to bullying, there is an increased pressure on them to act, says Friends’ Secretary General Lars Arrhenius.

Friends has involved the economist Ingvar Nilsson and his team, who have done socio-economic calculations with methods they have developed during the last 30 years. They have calculated on what kind of costs bullying generates for different actors in society – school, municipality, county or state – short term and long term.

Friends has also developed a web-based tool where you can calculate the costs for your municipality or county. The tool also allows you to see how much bullying normally costs schools, depending on their number of students. You can find the tool at (only in Swedish).

The report’s most important conclusions:
* The bullying that affects students in Sweden during one year, costs Swedish society approximately 17.5 billion SEK during the following 30 years. For a municipality with about 50,000 people the cost would be approximately 81 million SEK.

* Bullying that occurs for one year in a school with approximately 1,000 students, costs society approximately 14 million SEK during the following 30 years. The same amount of money would have paid for 25 annual salaries for counselors, teachers or school nurses.

* There is a risk that the decision making is inhibited. Slightly exaggerated, it is the principal that has to budget for the preventive effort, while the head of the municipal social service office or the political majority in the county are the ones who gain from the profit made, five or twenty years later.

Friends suggestions:

  1. Establish a state fund which economically supports the principal organizer of the school with efforts to create a safe and secure environment. The principal organizer of the school is obliged to follow the demands of the Swedish Education Act. Our calculations show that it is the principal organizer that finance the investments of the preventive work, while the state and the county makes the largest long-term saving. It is therefore reasonable that the state takes a share of the economic responsibility.
  2. Demand that all principal organizers regularly measure and account for how the situation of bullying and degrading treatment looks like in their school. This would lead to increased knowledge about the challenges in the school, and it would be easier for the school to highlight the positive example. At the same time, schools with large problems get a clear status report and it is thereby easier to find suitable measures.
  3. Prioritize efforts to create a safe and secure environment both in the teacher education and the teachers’ professional development. Efforts to create a safe and secure environment is a part of the package of competences and abilities that students who study to become teachers have to master in order to get their degree. However, not all teachers feel that they have gained enough knowledge and competences to counter degrading treatment and bullying. Among those who has been teaching for ten years or less, three in ten say that they lack that competence. In addition, teachers who already graduated have the right to be provided with the tools needed to follow the demands of the Swedish Education Act.
  4. Tighten up the Swedish Education Act in terms of the maximum amount of students a school counselor is responsible for. According to the Swedish Education Act chapter 2 “there must exist a student health service”, and “the student health service should primarily be preventive and promote good health”. But today, the school counselors’ preventive work too often becomes an exception. The Union for Professionals (Akademikerförbundet SSR) has shown that when the number of students per counselor exceeds 300, the possibility to work preventative in a satisfying way decreases. Approximately nine in ten counselors describe her or his work as “steered by emergencies” to some extent, according to an investigation from Novus. The counselors must have better possibilities to prioritize their preventive work.

– We have to start thinking long term. Our study confirms that Sweden cannot afford the enormous price of bullying – neither human, nor economic, says Lars Arrhenius.

#mobbningenskostnader or #thepriceofbullying

For more information, please contact
Anders Gustafsson, Public Relations Manager
Tel: +4670 725 54 13

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