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Good Childhood – the Children’s Society

October 7, 2017

MILLIONS of teenagers live in fear that they will become victims of crime — a fear that is affecting their well-being and mental health, the latest The report found that one third of teenage girls feared being stalked by a stranger, and one in four boys worries that they could be assaulted.

Two in five of teenagers worried about anti-social behaviour and other crimes, the report found.

Close second to the fear of becoming a victim of crime was the fear and stress experienced by 2.1 million teenagers whose parents were struggling to pay household bills.

Teenagers’ happiness is now at its lowest levels since 2010, and more than one million children experience at least seven serious problems in their lives — such as emotional neglect, having a parent with a serious illness, or the threat of homelessness.

More than half have experienced at least three hardships in the past five years, making them unhappier. Teenagers who have experienced seven or more serious issues in their lives are ten times more likely to be unhappy than those who have experienced none.

Girls are more likely than boys to be unhappy with their lives as a whole, and are less happy particularly over factors such as appearance and friendships.

2.9% spend more than 7 hours per day on social media. For girls, it is often an escape.

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, has campaigned on children’s well-being as part of her #liedentity campaign, which focuses on issues of body image. She said that she was “shocked and saddened” by the latest findings of the report.

The Children’s Society is calling on the Government to address urgently the funding shortfall in children’s services, which is predicted to reach £2 billion by 2020.

This is the sixth annual Good Childhood report to be carried out by the Children’s Society in partnership with researchers from the University of York. The report findings are based on surveys and interviews with 3000 ten- to 17-year-olds.


YouTube, that’s my life, Snapchat, that’s my life too, sometimes Skype.’

Say they have no internet at home, they’ll go to McDonald’s and then when it’s time to go home, they’ll just go home and do without internet until the next day.’


[Not having a phone would be the] worst thing because I really like playing on my

phone, like going on Facebook and that. I usually go on Facebook every day.’

Someone said “Go kill yourself. No one wants you in this world.”’

[They say] that I’ve got crooked teeth and chipmunk teeth and things like that.’ ‘

[I haven’t been bullied at school]. People call me cute, so…’

One of my friends is expecting me to not be friends with the other one, and then the other one expects me not to be friends with the other one, so I am sort of in the middle of all that.

This girl] tried to throw me down the stairs in the school and she kept on kicking me and she punched me in my face…And then there are these other people saying that – people in my tutor group saying that I’m annoying and I’m stupid.’

They’ll follow me home and then they all like throw stuff at me and say rude things


She has moved seven times in the last nine years. This has affected the way she approaches neighbourhood friendships – never getting too close to other children in a new area – and it has prevented her from putting down roots in a place she can call home. One of the things that really bothers Mia is the way her neighbours shout and scream all the time, race their noisy motorbikes up and down the road and bang their front door open and shut 24 hours a day, creating an environment of stress and heightened insecurity.

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