Ian Thorpe will host a controversial new hidden camera documentary series exposing schoolyard bullying, to air on the ABC later this month.
“Bullied” is a new social experiment that follows two high school students who have been bullied at their schools, with the incidents captured on hidden camera footage that is then shown to their parents, peers, school teachers and the bullies themselves.
“I have some personal experience around the issue of bullying so I want to share my insights to help Australian kids,” Ian shared when the series was announced last year.
The children involved in the series, which is based on a controversial Dutch format and was filmed in Queensland schools where such filming is legal, were supported by a team of psychologists and bullying experts.
Research released last month by ReachOut, a youth mental health and support organisation that has partnered with the ABC for the series, found that close to one in four young people have been bullied in the last year.
The organisation surveyed 1000 Australians between the ages of 14-25, and 22.9% of respondents reported having experienced verbal, physical, social or psychological bullying in the last 12 months. 52% of those people said the incidents occurred at school.
ReachOut CEO Jonathan Nicholas said they’ve worked with the ABC and Kids Helpline to develop an online bullying support portal to “make it easier for audiences to find the help that’s right for them – whether it be digital self-help, peer-to-peer forums, telephone counselling, or crisis support.”
The two-part series “Bullied” will screen on Tuesday March 14. at 8.30pm on ABC. Watch a preview of the show below:
If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.