TORONTO, Ont. – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has proclaimed Nov. 12-18 Bullying Awareness Week.

At a news conference, Ford said bullying takes many forms, and he’s encouraging everyone to help stop it.

Ford was joined by 10 partnering organizations from the Toronto Coalition for the Awareness and Prevention of Bullying, as well as Astral Television and PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network).

Ford said he knows what it’s like to be bullied.

“When you’re overweight like I’ve been my whole life and made fun of, it’s not good growing up,” Ford said.

“You have to stand up to bullies, but if you keep it inside, it could mentally harm you. Make sure people know and point out the bullies,” he added.

Toronto’s acting deputy police chief Kimberly Greenwood, said having officers in the schools is making a difference.

“It’s our hope that the rapport that officers build with our young encourages both those that are being victimized and those that are witnesses to come forward and report bullying,” Greenwood said.

Ford also expressed his disgust that a war memorial in Coronation Park in the city’s west-end was defaced just hours after Remembrance Day ceremonies.

According to PREVNet, over 1.1 million Canadian school-age students are bullied at least once each week. However, the bullying stops 57 per cent of the time in 10 seconds or less when peers intervene.

Family Channel co-founded Bullying Awareness Week in 2003 and developed the Stand UP! to bullying campaign in association with PREVNet.