Helpline for victims of bullying

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Bullying: 40 per cent suffer for a year.

AROUND 13,000 children under the age of 17 have experienced bullying at schools in Alicante province, figures suggest.

A further 6 per cent are considered to be victims but have not reported the issue, according to the Valencian Association Against Bullying (Avalcae).

In a bid to help tackle the issue a helpline for victims of bullying will be active this school year. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport said the phone line will aim to help children subjected to abuse and harassment.

All calls will be handled exclusively by professionals qualified in the field of psychology who can provide care and counselling, working alongside support workers and social workers.

The Government intends it to be a free-phone number, which does not appear on the phone bill and will also be accessible to people with hearing or speech disabilities.  

The ANAR Foundation (Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk) which is dedicated to promoting and defending the rights of children and adolescents, said its records show an increase in child victims of bullying with seven out of ten victims harassed daily and 40 per cent suffering for more than a year. The most common age group experiencing bullying are those youngsters between the ages of 11 and 13.

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