A LOCAL charity supporting people with learning disabilities has launched an anti-bullying campaign after clients said they are badly treated in the community.
Pepenbury has produced a short film interviewing several people who have experienced bullying in schools, on the roads, and on public transport.
The charity, which is based near Pembury, will show it in local schools and the wider community in order to raise awareness of the issue.
Janine Jacquin, who works with people affected by bullying, said: “We think a lot of this happens because people don’t always understand why someone acts a bit differently.
“A disability isn’t always visual, so when someone is a bit slower or doesn’t speak clearly they think it’s OK to make fun of them.”
Josh, who suffered lifelong injuries as a result of bullying in school, said: “They saw me as an easy target really, they thought ‘let’s pick on the weaker one’.
“They came up behind me. One of them pushed me over and decided to kick me in the back.
“It made me feel sad, angry and worried. I was really frustrated. What those two bullies did was a bad thing. “I now use a walking stick and a walker.”
Ms Jacquin added: “It’s just awful what bullied people have been through. It’s taken a lot of time and support to help build their confidence back up.
“We are working closely with the people we support to make sure they don’t become isolated and scared to go out as a result of this.
“We organise social groups and help support them into training or work so they can lead a normal life just like everyone else. They don’t want to be treated any differently.”
The film can be seen at youtube.com by searching for: Pepenbury Anti Bullying