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Pink Shirt Day to combat bullies

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/05/2017

In an effort to combat bullying in New Zealand, the Mental Health Foundation will be holding Pink Shirt Day.

Pink Shirt Day aims to create schools, workplaces and communities where all people feel safe, valued and respected and will be held on Friday.

Pink Shirt Day concludes anti-bullying week in New Zealand, where bullying prevention is an ongoing focus, not only in schools but all communities.

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, a charity that works towards creating a society free from discrimination, is behind the day.

"Bullying is basically any act of harm to another person. It tends to be deliberate and repeated and tends to involve some sort of power imbalance," CEO Shaun Robinson says.

"This can happen in a whole range of environments, but we focus on schools and workplaces because we know they're environments where we have a bad reputation and a bad rate of bullying occurring."

And while some people are more prone to bullying than others, it can happen to anyone.

"Anyone can be the target of bullying, but some groups are more prone to being bullied than others... LGBT community, people from ethnic or cultural minorities, people that might be academically at the top of the scale, or are struggling. It can happen to anyone. But some groups are more vulnerable," he says.

It began in 2007 in Canada after students took a stand against homophobic bullying after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

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