I know too well the effects of bullying. At school, I endured a eight year verbal and physical onslaught from schoolyard bullies due to my diminutive stature and bookish ways . You can read some of the back story here: http://www.kazb.co.uk/blog/?p=1748
I struggled for a number of years in adulthood but eventually refused to let those bullies destroy my adult life as well as my childhood. With self-help books and determination I got through it and learnt to see the joy in life again. My height which always felt like such a disability when I was younger, now seems like something that I’m not only comfortable with now but it’s often something of a convenience! For example, take spending several hours on a long flight. You look around the plane and witness everyone all cramped up in their little seats, slumped over their little lap trays and looking rather glum! Not me – I’m the happiest person on the plane! I can manage to fit my little bottle of wine, my book, snacks and hands on the little tray, and I can even slide my legs out in a luxurious stretch under the seat in front of me. I glance at my fellow passenger to see a look of annoyance on their face as they try to kick there feet around their shopping bags under the seat in front, rather ineffectually.
For me I managed to reprogram my brain and stop playing through old survival patterns that no longer served me. I was able to come through the other side I would say – a reasonably well adjusted and logical person, although I do sometimes question whether societies ideologies of normality have any merit.
Sadly, many young people who are bullied cannot see a way to go on and choose to end their lives. It becomes too much for them to cope with mentally. There has been many reports in the news lately of teens and youngsters taking their own lives. It’s hard for many to understand the suffering a bullied child goes through and how alone they feel, but it’s very real and if these children are from broken homes as well, they feel like they have nowhere to turn and no way out.
Here are a few statistics from DO Some Thing and my thoughts on each quote.
“Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.”
That’s not far off half the population of London alone, let alone the rest of the world.
“1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4% of the time.”
Teachers are overwhelmed or lazy or don’t understand the full extent of the problem. If they don’t intervene and the parents aren’t interested either – guess what? That poor child cannot trust in anyone and when they feel all adults and those in authority have let them down, they will struggle later in life with trust issues, relationships and bonding…and will have no respect for authority.
“Over 67% of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.”
Schools should have a programme and procedure to deal with bullying. Furthermore, teachers should be trained in how to deal with these issues, with counselling and support provided for victims. With more awareness this positive change could be brought about.
Now a few stats from Bullying Statistics
“Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University”
Bullying can make a child feel worthless, unloved and as if they have no place in the world. Is it any wonder that some choose to take their own lives rather than being subjected to torment and abuse on a daily basis?
“A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying”
This statistic actually brought tears to my eyes, to think of all those lives wasted because some coward abused them to make themselves feel better.
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.”
This figure shows us the extent of this huge epidemic which is being swept under the carpet. Our youngsters are at risk and no one is stepping up and taking responsibility. This needs to change and it needs to change now before more innocent lives are lost.
So what do we do about it?
*If you know a child who is being bullied, let them know they can talk to you and encourage them to call the National Bullying Helpline on: 0845 22 55 787
*Ensure that they realise that it is NOT their fault. No child EVER deserves to be bullied. There are NO exceptions to this rule.
*Try to rally up some parents and allies and go to the school as a unite and discuss creating a system to deal with bullying issues. Voices in numbers are more likely to be listened too and changes made.
Remember – look out for kids who seem withdrawn, quiet, angry, or who has suffered a recent change in behaviour. They may be too scared to speak up but may manifest strange behavioural traits that may appear as if they are withdrawn or playing up. Learn to recognise the signs and look for anything that is out of character.
Don’t let them suffer in silence. Help them now before it’s too late.
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