May 19. 2024. 2:04

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Bullying in Albania increases, viral violent videos shock audiences


Bullying in Albanian schools is on the rise, almost doubling in the last year, impacting boys more than girls, but also escalating into violence that has shocked the public during the last week.

Reports of bullying increased from 491 cases in the 2019-2020 school year to almost 900 cases in the 2021-2022 school year. Out of the reported cases over the last three years, boys were victims in 811 cases, while girls were victims in 667 cases.

The directorate covering the country’s two largest districts, Durres and Tirana, had the most reports with 1088.

In Lezhe, where 467 cases were reported in three years, authorities said, “Cases of violence and bullying identified as caused by factors outside educational institutions are referred for specialised management in the relevant structures, coordinating the management of the case with the educational institution.”

Psychologist Arjana Muca told the media that bullying could take many forms and causes trauma to the subjects.

“The consequences of bullying are the traumas that children go through. Experiences of feelings of anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, isolation and even depression in teenagers, which can lead to suicide…,” she said.

Meanwhile, the National Hotline for Safer Internet for Children in Albania recently reported that in 2022, the most common reason for children to call them for help was bullying, both online and offline.

“Albania has a long way to go to provide security and safety to every child and young person who gets online. From the data we have collected from iSIGURT for the last seven years, we believe that the online world is becoming more dangerous and exploitative for children. It’s urgent that we start developing new laws and policies to address all these shortcomings together with the industry.” – said Altin Hazizaj on behalf of CRCA/ECPAT Albania.

The 2022 report found a significant increase in hate speech and online bullying towards children, with, on average, a report every two days. Most incidents of online bullying took place on TikTok, followed by Instagram and Facebook.

Making headlines in Albania over the last few days has been two incidents of teenage girls using violence against each other. On Tuesday, a video went viral showing two adolescent girls beating each other and pulling each other’s hair. It follows another incident where two schoolgirls violently assaulted each other.

Psychologist Ciljeta Simaku told Euronews that modern society, including social media, games, and phones, is causing a “mental drain”.

They have moved away from books, they have moved away from community activities, which make them empathise and fight against poverty, and all these aspects make us have such events. Undoubtedly, poverty pushes people to create such situations,” he said.

“We must definitely create as a society, as individuals, schools, parents, we must create environments and opportunities so that these young people do not waste their time in vain. Curriculum for mental health, how to manage anger, boredom, that teenagers all have,” he added.

(Alice Taylor | Exit.al)