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Anti Bullying Week 16th - 20th November

Anti Bullying Week 16th - 20th November

What is Bullying?

Bullying is repeated aggressive behavior that can be physical, verbal, relational, in-person or online. Bullies are often relentless, bullying over and over again for long periods of time. You may live in constant fear of where and when the bully will strike next, what they’ll do, and how far they’ll go.

  • Physical abuse – involves punching, kicking, or moving you (or even attempting to do so) as well as stealing, hiding, or damaging your belongings, and punching, harassment, or humiliation.

  • Verbal abuse – involves name-calling, mocking, taunting, threatening, or otherwise verbally assaulting you.

  • Bullying relationship – involves refusing to speak to you, removing you from groups or events, spreading lies or rumours about you, making you do stuff you don't want to do.

What is Cyberbullying?

Technology ensures that harassment is no longer restricted to school playgrounds or street corners. Cyberbullying can occur anywhere, including at home, via smartphones, emails, text and social media, 24 hours a day, with potentially hundreds of people involved. Cyberbullies are using digital technologies to stalk, intimidate, or humiliate. Unlike conventional harassment, cyberbullying does not involve face-to - face contact and is not limited to a handful of witnesses at a time. It doesn't need physical strength, either.

  • Cyberbullies come in all shapes and sizes and nearly anybody with internet access or a mobile phone can cyberbully someone else, even without having to disclose their true identity.

  • Cyberbullies can taunt you 24 hours a day , 7 days a week and they can pursue you everywhere, so that no place, not even home, can ever feel safe. And with a few clicks, hundreds or even thousands of people will experience embarrassment online.

  • The strategies used by children and teenagers to cyberbully can be as diverse and creative as the technologies they have access to. They may range from sending threatening or taunting messages via email, text, social media, or IM, to breaking your email account, or stealing your online identity to harm and humiliate you. Some cyberbullies may even set up a website or social media page to target you.

The Effects of Bullying

  • You're made to feel hurt, angry, frightened, powerless, hopeless, lonely, embarrassed, and even guilty that it's somehow your fault. You might even feel suicidal.

  • Your physical health is likely to suffer, and you are at higher risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, low self-esteem , anxiety, or PTSD. You are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school to avoid being bullied.

  • Cyberbullying can take place anywhere, at any time. You can experience it even in areas where you would usually feel safe, such as your home, and at times when you'd least expect it to happen, like on a weekend in the company of your family. It may seem that there is no escape from taunting and humiliation.

  • A lot of cyberbullying can be done anonymously, so you might not be sure who's targeting you. This can make you feel much more threatened and can empower bullies, since they think that online anonymity means that they are less likely to get caught. Since cyberbullies can't see your reaction, they're always going far deeper with their abuse or ridicule than they would if they were face-to - face with you.

  • Cyberbullying will ultimately be experienced by thousands of individuals. Emails can be sent to many, many individuals, while social media posts or forum comments can also be read by everyone. The more far-reaching the harassment, the more humiliating it can become.

Why am I being Bullied?

Although there are many reasons why you might be targeted by bullies, bullies tend to choose people who are "different" or who don't fit into the norm. Although your individualism is something that you will celebrate later in life, it can seem like a curse when you're young and want to fit in. Maybe you dress or behave differently, or maybe your race, religion , or sexual orientation sets you apart. Maybe it's just that you're new to school or community and haven't made friends yet. No matter what it is the bullies are picking on, you need to be reminded that no one should change who you are and the people close to you, like family members, will love you for you.

How to Deal with a Bully

  • Don’t blame yourself - It is not your fault

  • Try to view bullying from a different perspective - Don’t give them the satisfaction

  • Don’t be hard on yourself - There are many nice things about you so be proud of who you are

  • Learn to manage stress - Find healthy ways to relieve stress like exercise and meditation. 

  • Spend time doing things you enjoy - Do more things that make you happy

Remember: there is no reason for you to ever put up with any kind of bullying.

Finding support from those who don’t bully

When you are bullied, having trustworthy people you can turn to for motivation and help will relieve your stress and improve your self-esteem and resilience. Speak to a parent, teacher, counsellor, or another trusted adult — it doesn't mean you're weak or something's wrong with you. And reach out and get in contact with real friends (those who don't get involved in some kind of bullying).

If you're new to a school or a community, or don't feel like you have someone to turn to, there are a lot of ways to make new friends. It might not always feel like that, but there are a lot of people who will love and respect you for who you are.

You could also try: 

  • Find others who have had similar experiences

  • Share feelings about bullying

  • Boost your confidence through joining a sports group. 

Dealing with Cyberbullying

Dealing with cyberbullying is rarely easy, but there are steps you can take to deal with the issue. To begin with, it might be a good time to re-evaluate the use of your technology. For example, spending less time on social media or reading text and emails, and more time communicating with actual people, will help you separate yourself from online bullies. It may also help reduce anxiety , depression, and feelings of isolation.

What if I need more help?

Access one of the websites below for additional information on bullying:

Anti Bullying Week Resources 

Teaching Children not to Bully

Supporting Children

Tips for Schools 

Parental Support