It's Bullying Awareness Week
Bullying is such a common problem in Canada that we've kind of 'normalized' the behaviour. But bullying is not okay and can have serious long term effects on those who directly experience bullying, those who see bullying, and those who do the bullying.
If you check out our social media this week, we'll be talking about some of those impacts:
What can we do? Well first of all, we all need to realize it's not okay.
If you're the one being bullied, you need to tell an adult you trust. They may not have all the answers, but don't suffer in silence. And if they don't help, tell someone else. And if you're struggling with who to tell, call or text 877-352-4497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call or text them anytime.
If it's happening to you online, document everything. When we say 'document', we mean take screen shots with time/date stamps, save texts, save messages, and create a timeline of the all the abuse you are getting and from who, if you know. This is important when it comes time to report what's been happening and can support site owners banning your bully from having access to their social media sites and gaming platforms. Or supporting the laying of criminal charges.
If you are being physically assaulted, you can call 911. The police are there to protect you from violence and sexual assault. If you see someone being physically or sexually assaulted, but you're afraid to try and intervene, you can call 911. Don't make yourself unsafe but you can still help.
If you want to intervene, you want to make sure it's safe to do so. We'll talk about intervention strategies in a blog later this week!
Just because you might not like someone doesn't give you the right to bully them, to join in with others bullying them, or sit back and watch them being bullied. Bullies grow bolder when they have an audience or gain support from others. Don't support a bully. The next person they might pick on is you.
If you're the bully - ask yourself what are you trying to get from bullying someone else? There's always a reason: sometimes we're copying things we've seen our parents do, or we want to gain some kind of control, or we feel we get attention from it. When we're the bullies, it actually hurts us, too, and harms our friendships and those we care about and love. If you're not sure why you're a bully, call (780-460-2195) or email us (email@example.com). We can talk about it and create healthier ways of accomplishing what you want without hurting others.
Are you dealing with cyberbullying while gaming? We'll be talking about what to do in that situation in our next blog!