There are so many young people who experience bullying in their everyday lives that to some people in society, it has just become part of the norm.
Comments by parents, uncles & aunts & friends such as “It’s all part of the growing up process” & “The Bullying will only stop when you stand up for yourself” have been some of the advice many of us have received in the past, when we were bullied.
But sometimes the bullying impacts directly on us growing up happy. Or we do not have the strength to fight back – physically, emotionally or mentally.
We are here to take a different approach. The Community Brave Foundation is here to stop bullying and ensure it is not part of the growing up process, or that young people don’t have to stand up for themselves to claim the same basic human rights that they are entitled too.
Our weapon however is not violence or fear. We are approaching this with Education and Knowledge.
To firstly understand bullying, we should define it and then provide a short definition of all the parties and their roles in bullying circumstances.
Bullying is defined as: “A form of aggressive behaviour manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behaviour is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The “imbalance of power” may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “target”” by Wikipedia.
There are several parties involved in a bullying situation. These are:
The Victim – This is the person who is receiving the aggressive behaviour. Known as the ‘Target’ this is the less powerful party in any form of bullying (Online, School, LGBT, Workplace, Academics etc.). Targets appear more physically and emotionally weak to bullies, and lack skills of assertiveness. They also have diminished self-confidence.
The Bully – This is the person who is outputting the aggressive behaviour. It is the more powerful party in the bullying event and creates these situations for many reasons such as being a bully victim themselves, trying to fit in, fear of unknown, attempting to set position as Alpha in group to name a few. This is also not limited to one person and can be several people working as a pack. Bullies tend to use blame, criticism and allegations justify their means and thrive on feelings of dominance (see their victims as prey)
Bystanders – Bystanders are third parties who witness Bullying events as partial participants or people who watch it occur (can be in person, online, through communication such as email). Bystanders will hardly ever intervene in bullying events (unless they are involved) and will generally show more respect for the bullies over the targets, but will also feel guilty for not intervening due to lack of knowledge or fear of involvement.
Whilst many anti-bullying programs will focus on the Victim (and this is important) in order to stop bullying, a multi-party approach is needed. There is no point to help the victims and do nothing about the bullies. They are victims too. There is not point of helping the bullies without providing the resources to bystanders. They have an important role to play too.
We’ll be addressing each of these parties in more details in our future blogs. And rolling out information, resources and useful tips to help empower you the next time a Bullying event occurs.
We would love to hear your stories of Bullying and share them with our network. If you were a bully, what made you change? If you are a victim, what made you strong? If you are a bystander, what will you do?
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