Bullying is the repetitive action of hurting someone on purpose multiple times. As you will all know, bullying is a big issue. But how can we tackle it? Well, the most important thing we can do is to raise awareness on how we can stop this, especially in public places such as schools, workplaces etc. Engaging young people, teachers and parents in changing their behaviour and attitudes toward bullying and making sure they know that bullying of any form is unacceptable is the first step to stopping this. Teaching people how to treat each other with kindness and respect can help lessen the amount of bullying. A few ways we can challenge bullying are to walk away, report the bully, and tell the bully to stop if it is safe to do so. If you feel that you are unsafe, you can talk to your school administrators if help or call law enforcement. You can protect yourself from cyberbullying by keeping your passwords secret, blocking bullies and reporting it to the service providers and a trusted adult.
It is vital that we teach people to speak up and listen to each other on bullying as bullying can lead to very low mental health, depression and even suicidal thoughts if it is not dealt with. It is also vital that the bully is offered support as there is usually an underlying problem and reason that they are bullying in the first place. If this is not addressed, their circumstances and health can also get worse and they know they can get help with their problems and that bullying is not the solution.
Some people struggle with talking about their problems with others as they feel that it may make their attacker angry, not be dealt with effectively or cause them to feel like it is their fault they are being bullied so they may become insecure. We can stop this from happening by keeping lines of communication open, talking to them, making them feel safe and understanding their concerns. There are several ways of telling if someone is being bullied, the first sign that someone is being bullied is that they may keep to themselves and change their behaviour so that they become shy and isolated from others. Some other signs could be frequent sickness or faking illness, changes in eating habits (such as suddenly skipping meals or binge eating, unexplained injuries, difficulty sleeping/frequent nightmares, and sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations. However, not all children exhibit these signs so it is best to check in with kids often. Encouraging them to do something they would enjoy such as special activities, interests and hobbies can help boost their confidence, make friends and protect them against bullying behaviour.
If you ever feel in danger of bullying there are a range of helplines you can call such as:
0845 22 55 787 ( the national bullying helpline) 0800 1111 ( Childline ) 0808 800 5000 ( NSPCC bullying and cyber bullying helpline )
Remember that if you are being bullied, you are not alone