‘I get no respect’ – 70 percent of Britons think society has become less respectful

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Racist, sexist or homophobic abuse has been witnessed by 14 percent while out shopping or walking. And one in 10 people had seen someone scream or shout at a member of staff in hospital. Two-thirds now think the levels of disrespect in the UK have reached an unacceptable level – with 71 percent feeling the problem has got worse in the last two years.

But, while Britons say society is getting worse in terms of the abuse they see, three-quarters has admitted dishing it out themselves.

As many as 15 percent of those polled said they’ve disrespected someone in the past week alone, according to Nationwide Building Society.

Of those who’ve looked back on a moment and realised they had disrespected someone, more than half (58 percent) said they were disappointed with themselves.

While 44 percent felt ashamed and 42 percent said they were determined to do better in the future.

The study also found emergency service workers topped a list of people who were not as valued as they should be in society.

They were followed by teachers and education support staff, those who work on public transport, members of the armed forces and waiting staff.

The survey also revealed how “toxic” the public think social media has become.

More than three-quarters think abuse online has reached unacceptable levels – with 20 percent leaving social media due to abuse they or someone they know has suffered.

However, almost two-thirds of adults feel they have become more respectful with age – but seven percent admit to becoming less respectful.

The research was carried out by Nationwide Building Society after it launched a three-year partnership to support The Football Association’s Respect campaign.

The grassroots football initiative aims to reinforce the importance of mutual respect on and off the pitch.

As part of the campaign, the FA will be advising parents and coaches on their roles in creating a fun, safe and inclusive environment for everyone.

Sara Bennison, Nationwide chief marketing officer, said: “2020 has not been the year any of us expected – so much distress. 

“But we have also had a sharp reminder of how dependent on each other we all are. 

“Fostering greater mutual respect becomes more important than ever. 

“The FA have demonstrated their commitment to this at a grassroots level and we are delighted to be able to help them expand their Respect programme.”

It is hoped the initiative will ensure a positive and enjoyable football environment for young people by promoting respect between players, coaches, referees and spectators

The campaign is looking to involve one million players, parents and coaches in The FA Respect programme over the next three years.

James Kendall, the director of football development at The FA, added: “Over the years The FA’s Respect campaign has championed the importance of mutual respect on and off the football pitch, most particularly amongst young people. 

“We have worked hard to provide players with the guidance and confidence to act in this way; the same is true for parents, referees and the communities they play within.

 “It is so good then that we can work with partners such as Nationwide who understand the positive impact football can have on society and share our determination to improve the game. 

“As we restart the grassroots game it is important to take the opportunity to reaffirm the values that are crucial for the wellbeing of football – respect and anti-discrimination are core to that.”

In addition to The FA Respect partnership, Nationwide has also signed deals with the Football Association of Wales, Scottish Football Association and Irish Football Association so that every UK home nation is supported.

Top 10 things Britons find disrespectful

1. Someone being rude or talking down to retail staff (e.g. at a shop or supermarket)

2. Someone being rude or talking down to a waiter/waitress

3. Someone being rude or talking down to a cleaner

4. Someone making an excessive amount of noise late at night/early in the morning

5. Someone using offensive language while children are in the vicinity

6. Someone being rude or talking down to a colleague

7. Someone refusing to give up their seat on public transport for someone who is in need

8. Someone being glued to their phone when someone else is trying to have a conversation with them

9. Someone not taking their headphones out when someone else is trying to have a conversation with them

10. Someone raising their voice to a stranger in a public setting

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