I have no doubt that we have all experienced the insidiousness of being bullied, it can be an experience we carry around with us for a life time.
Having worked in schools for 15 years I always felt uneasy when they all developed ‘anti-bullying’ policies and professed, ‘We don’t have bullying in our school.’
Of course they do.
It is how you deal with it that matters.
Allowing children a safe place to talk to others about what is happening, in the knowledge that justice will be done.
The danger can be when a child is bullied and they are not taken seriously, and so they quickly learn that often justice is not done.
Bullying not only happens to children of course, throughout our adult life we will be confronted by bullies.
There is no ‘picture’ of a bully, so they are not easy to recognise, but they soon show their true colours.
They have the ability to make you lose all your self-worth, to doubt all your actions and to make you feel like hiding under the covers and staying there forever.
To the outside world bullies appear to be really good people, they gather many around them whilst treating another in a horrible way. They are very deft at making everyone believe the only way is their way, in the process they break others down at every given opportunity.
To add to the mix the internet has been a paradise for bullies, they hide under anonymity, different names, they target vulnerable people, destroying people as they type their poison.
Domestic Violence which effects both men and women starts off as bullying and moves on to Abuse, the abuser stripping their victim of all dignity mentally and physically.
Alienating children is also a form of bullying, not allowing children their right to a loving, caring relationship with both parents and extended family.
If you an adult being affected by bullying do you have a safe place to go?
Once again the injustice felt as children is felt again as an adult.
As we enter Anti-Bullying Week, ask ourselves this question, can our actions be construed as bullying?