$525 million: the annual Australian bully bill

in News

The trauma caused by bullying continues for decades after school ends, says a new report commissioned by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

The Economic Costs of Bullying in Australian Schools reveals that, each year, around 910,000 – almost a quarter of all school students – Australian school students experience bullying, instigated by 543,000 bully perpetrators.

Victims experience 45 million bullying incidents every year – more than one a week.

The analysis estimates bullying costs Australians $525 million over the 13 schooling years (prep to Year 12), than a further $1.8 billion over a 20 year period after the students finish school.

The Foundation’s CEO Lesley Podesta said the costs come from significant impacts to the victim’s health and wellbeing, as well as their productivity.

They include $307 million spent on senior staff time dealing with bullying; $182 billion in costs of carers for students at home; $5 million on primary and acute health services; $28 million on mental health services and $3 million on police involvement.

“Putting a dollar figure on a problem that is about wellbeing and safety may seem a bit impersonal, but we think it’s a powerful way to shine a spotlight on the immediate and ongoing social, economic and fiscal impacts of bullying across the country,” Ms Podesta said.

Read the full report here.

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