Fighting Back Against Bullying
The Anti-Bullying Week is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and aims to help combat bullying in the UK. This year it runs from 12th to 15th of November with the theme “Choose Respect”. The priority of the campaign is to help children and young people understand that bullying is a behaviour choice and that they can set a positive example by showing respect to each other.(1)
A common misconception is that bullying occurs only amongst children and adolescents. However, nearly one-third of employees in the UK have experienced bullying at work, according to the TUC. (2) Fighting back against bullying requires learning to identify its different forms and how we stand up for ourselves and others.
Bullying is when someone is being hurt either emotionally or physically, by another individual or by a group of people, usually for a prolonged period of time. Bullying can occur anywhere including at school, work, home or even within a group of friends or a relationship. A common problem is that bullying can go unnoticed, particularly with verbal or emotional bullying as witnesses underestimate the impact that this behaviour has on the victim. Thus, for fighting back against bullying it is significant to educate ourselves on the different forms that bullying can take.
Verbal Abuse may include:
- Insults, criticism, verbal attack
- Humiliation or embarrassing in public
- Name-calling, teasing
- Sexual/racist comments
Physical Abuse may include:
- Hitting/ Pushing / Spitting
- Physical assault
- Damaging or stealing one’s property
Emotional Abuse may include:
- Excluding an individual
- Treating as inferior
- Spreading rumours
Bullying can severely lower the self-esteem of an individual and result in depression and anxiety. It can also affect the performance of the individual at school, work or in other areas of their life, as they may lose confidence in themselves.
Many people tend to engage in secondary bullying, which is not initiating the bullying but joining in to avoid becoming a target. If you experience a situation where someone is being bullied, it is vital to express your disapproval on the scene. In several cases, the bully may be unaware that their actions are bullying and this will show that their behaviour is inappropriate. Bullying does not only affect the victim but also everyone who is experiencing it. Fighting back against bullying is essential for creating a society where individuals can grow and reach their highest potential.
- Anti-Bullying Week 2018: Choose Respect | Anti-Bullying Alliance
- Nearly a Third of People Are Bullied at Work | TUC