Bullying is a long-standing and complicated issue with no easy fix, but a crowd gathered at a downtown meeting Thursday night to keep the discussion going.

CTV Ottawa hosted a special town hall meeting to talk about an ordeal that many people have experienced.

"It's tough, I don't know how to deal with it, I honestly don't," said Sherri DeSousa, whose son Dante has been bullied for years. "I see my son breaking down, he's not the same little boy he was a year and a half ago."

Definitive bullying statistics are hard to come by, but they all show various degrees of a big problem.

One Canadian study said one in four children have been bullied, with another saying half of adults claim they were bullied as a child or teen.

Experts said experiences like those are the kind that doesn't easily go away.

"We do know there is data that indicates that kids who are bullied are more likely to be dealing with things like depression and anxiety," said Dr. Neil Gottheil, a psychologist at CHEO.

He said one thing that's not being done in schools is students sticking up for one another.

"Certainly the thrust is to work with the bystanders, because creating a positive peer culture is what's going to help curb this kind of behaviour," he said.

For those victims of bullying, all they said they want is an end to the pain.

"I hope we stop it tonight, and it stops forever," said Dante DeSousa. "We're all human beings, I don't see why you have to be mean towards somebody."

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Claudia Cautillo

Read and watch the rest of our four-part series on bullying here.