Bullying, a topic which is often mentioned but often not fully understood. Recently, a beautiful young girl who was well known in my community lost the fight against bullying and this tragic turn of events has left our town in shock and despair. However, the sad news brought together the entire community to raise money for the family, hold a large and beautiful send-off and ensure that everybody had a shoulder to cry on. One thing which shocked me the most is how the 'anti-bullying policy' which every school claims to uphold still seems to do nothing to help those in need until it is too late. After everything which has happened, inspiration struck to take the time to discuss what is really going on behind closed doors...
You will often be surprised by how many people are a victim of bullying throughout their lives. It is also important to remember that unfortunately, bullying is often not left at the school gates. I've included a little infographic just to back up how widespread bullying has become.
As horrible as it is to think, there are a lot more bullies out there than you realise. In fact, a lot of bullies don't even realise that they are bullies. From simply commenting something nasty on a social media page to taking the mick out of somebody's outfit, you can seriously affect the way that person feels about themselves. I have to admit now that I'm not perfect and I have said things to people in the past which were uncalled for and if everybody was honest with themselves, I think they'd come to the conclusion that they have too. However, it's seriously important to be kind no matter what, you never know what is going on behind closed doors (or closed mouths). A mean comment which is seemingly harmless when you say it could mean a lot more to the victim than you realise and at the end of the day, do you really want to be responsible for somebody else's misery and emotional suffering?
Now I've discussed the bullies, what about the system in place to prevent it? As it stood at the schools in my area, the anti-bullying policy consisted of the victim mentioning what was happening, the teacher calling in the culprit for a chat, they deny everything, get forced to apologize and that case was then classed as resolved. Everyone with half of a brain cell knows that more often than not, this is not enough to stop what is happening. Each and every educational facility should provide counsellors and it should be compulsory to have somebody available to talk to internally. Some people who are bullied have amazing families who they can discuss their issues with to resolve them but the people who don't have that supportive home background need a shoulder to cry on.
What To Do If You Are Bullied
If you are being bullied, you are not alone. 3.4 million children are a victim of bullying and there is help out there. Either speak to a parent/guardian or family member, a close friend or even a supportive teacher at school. Bottling up emotions just make it harder, trust me, I know. If you cannot speak to any of the above, the ChildLine website can help ( check it out here). Just make sure that you reach out to somebody.
Have you been bullied? What do you think should be done about bullying?
Let me know in the comments section below!