What is Bullying and What Can You Do About It
Bullying can come in many forms. It could be emotional, physical, verbal or sexual. It could happen at school, work or even online. What are the signs that you are being bullied at school or work? What should you do about it?
What is bullying?
Bullying is different from disagreements among two people. The bully will hurt the other person repeatedly through insults, humiliation or physical pain. The victim usually can’t defend himself from the attacker. If the person is hurting you intentionally more than once, then it is called bullying.
Why am I a victim?
The bully usually asserts more power over the victim. The power can come from the person’s status in school or at work. It can happen to anyone, even among adults in a workplace. Usually the targets are the quiet and shy people. Sometimes people with different skin color, body shape, sexual orientation, and those with disabilities are the targets.
What should I do?
Remember that it isn’t your fault that you are the target of bullying. Ignore bullies as best as you could and avoid confrontations. They will eventually lose interest. Hang around with your friends and positive people. Remember that there are people who care about you like your friends and your family. If you feel like you need to respond to the bullies, don’t resort to violence.
Where should I go for help?
It might be difficult for you to tell someone that you’re a victim, but it’s also the best way to cope with it. Ask for help if the bullying doesn’t stop. Don’t think that you are weak because you’re telling other people about it. Remember that the bullies are the ones acting irrationally and abnormally, not you. Talking is the right thing to do. Talk to someone you can trust. If you can’t tell your family member or friends, seek help from your teacher or counselor or your immediate boss at work.
How can I help a victim?
If you think your friend or family member is being bullied, here are the things you need to do.
If you’re a parent, gather information about the bullies and the threats to your child. Research about the school’s anti-bullying rules to know your child’s rights. Talk to the right school personnel about it, preferably the principal or counselor. Don’t forget to follow up to make sure the bullying stops. If it doesn’t, you will need to contact the proper authorities about it.
Tell your teacher or counselor if your friend is a victim. Talk to your immediate boss if someone is harassing a co-worker.
What are the anti-bullying campaigns?
In Singapore, you might want to check out Children’s Society’s Bully-Free Programme. They have help and consultation hotlines. You might also want to check Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth (CABCY). They provide consultations and workshops about anti-bullying.
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