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Children ‘using make-up to lighten skin to avoid racial bullying’ | UK News



Children are lightening their skin with make-up to avoid racial bullying, according to a report from the NSPCC.

The number of race hate crimes against under-18s rose by more than a fifth between 2015 and last year, new research by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children showed.

Some bullied children told their counsellors they had tried to change the colour of their skin by using make-up after being racially abused.

A 10-year-old girl told Childline: “My friends won’t hang out with me anymore because people started asking why they were friends with someone who had dirty skin. I was born in the UK but bullies tell me to go back to my own country.

“I’ve tried to make my face whiter before using makeup so that I can fit in.”

The number of offences recorded by police went up from 8,683 between 2015 and 2016, to 9,752 between 2016 and 2017, and then to 10,571 between 2017 and 2018.

This was a rise of 1,888 or 22% across the three years.

Babies under the age of one were amongst the more than 10,000 child victims who had racist abuse shouted at them in 2018.

The NSPCC also reported they held 2,617 counselling sessions for race and faith-based bullying between 2015 and 2018 via its helpline Childline.

Girls were more likely to contact Childline than boys because of racist bullying.
Girls were more likely to contact Childline than boys because of racist bullying. File pic

Girls were more likely to contact the helpline, while the most common age group was those between 12 and 15.

Head of Childline John Cameron said: “Childhood bullying of this nature can cause long-term emotional harm to children and can create further divisions in our society.

“If we see a child bullying another because of their race we need to tackle it head-on, by explaining that it’s not OK and how hurtful it is.”

The charity requested data from all UK police forces under the Freedom of Information Act.

They received figures from 38 out of 45 forces.

The report comes days after an 11-year-old boy told Cornwall Live that he had been racially bullied at school after moving from Merseyside to Cornwall.

Ashley Davies, who is mixed race, has been subject to abuse from other children, including being referred to as a “black idiot”, a slave and a n******.

The child told Cornwall Live: “When I wake up in the morning, it’s like a burden. But it shouldn’t be a chore really, it should just be going to school but every morning before going to school I feel nervous about what’s going to happen there.”

Police figures for all hate crime showed sharp rises around the time of the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 terror attacks on London Bridge and at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

In March this year, monitoring group Tell Mama said there had been a spike in race hate crime in the UK, following the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand.

Aside from these spikes, longer term figures from the Crime Survey of England and Wales suggested that hate crime had reduced by 40% in the decade to 2018.

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