careleaverNearly 70% of young people have experienced bullying, according to a national survey.

Anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label surveyed nearly 2,000 students aged between 16 and 26, and of those targeted, 24 per cent said they had self-harmed and a quarter admitted to suicidal thoughts.

Chosen interests and appearance are the biggest targets for playground taunts, and students most at risk are those with disabilities and from sexual minorities.

As well as having a huge impact on self-esteem, home life and studies, many respondents worried that bullying would affect their future career prospects.

However, 5.3% of those targeted have turned to social media for support – even though 21% have been bullied online.

Liam Hackett, founder of Ditch The Label, who was a victim of bullying himself, says: 'A huge amount of variance between different minority groups was found, indicating that those who are visibly different are often the main target for bullies... Support services must be put in place to help counteract some of the incredibly harmful side-effects of bullying, with particular attention towards suicide, self-harm and self-esteem issues.'

Download the report at http://www.ditchthelabel.org/downloads/Annual-Bullying-Survey-2013b.pdf