Speak Up: Anti-Bullying

“If we don’t talk about it or try to make a change, nothing will change.
Let’s talk about it, let’s spread awareness for those affected by bullying”

Bullying is a crime

In light of a recent incident this week, I feel even more determined to speak up against bullying and spread awareness. A video went viral of a girl filmed spitting on, punching and dragging another girl by her hair whilst other’s watched, laughed and taunted the victim. I felt physically sick.

There are so many ways that we can help..

The first thing I must say is, do not put yourself in danger. If you feel that is a possibility. Don’t throw yourself into the situation on impulse. You may not only put yourself at risk, but cause greater risk to the other person involved. Seek help immediately. Whether it’s a phone call to the police, reporting it to a teacher or seeking help from passersby.

Awareness..

Bullies, although verbally and physically abusive, are mentally weak. They find their strength through others fear – in fact they pride themselves on this. If you are bullied, this does not make you weak. Don’t be afraid to talk to friends, teachers – most importantly your family, if you are a victim. This is not something anyone can go through alone so please don’t try to manage the situation yourself by keeping your feelings bottled up.

I have heard of cases where some schools do not monitor bullying as well as others, but please keep talking and escalate it until somebody, anybody listens. Tell your family, tell the school or tell the police. The police will have a record which will help if there are other occurrences.

A victim of bullying..

If you have read my previous blog “Acceptance: A Letter To My Younger Self” you will know that I was previously a victim of bullying. I know how it feels to live in fear – whether you are verbally or physically abused, your story matters – you need support and it should be heard. Luckily, I had a great support system. My family, my friends and the school. But if they hadn’t I wouldn’t have stopped trying. You have to protect yourself – even emotionally.

No, this wasn’t an incident that came to a sudden halt. However, if I had done nothing I don’t know how long this would have been an issue for or how bad it could’ve been. Bullying had already caused me a lot of self esteem problems and anxiety, mental scars that stay with you and change you as a person. It takes a lot of self-reflection and strength to turn that around. Don’t waste any time and report bullying – whether you are involved or you are a witness. Together we can spread awareness.

BULLYING IS NOT COOL.