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In most cases young people fear that if they get involved then the bully may begin to target them as well. This type of terrorism mentality is exactly what the bully hopes for whether they are conscious of it or not. When a bully’s behavior affects not only the victim but others around the victim the bully has gained control of practically his entire environment. This is a detrimental situation for anyone in the environment. If you feel fear at the thought of reporting a bullying situation then you are being bullied as well. The bully has already affected your own sense of empowerment.
Sources: www.reportabully.com www.bullystoppers.com
Another reason people do not report bullying is because they are underestimating the situation when they become aware of the bullying incident. It is very easy to glance at a situation and think you understand how serious or non-serious it is. There is no way for a bystander to understand the deep emotional and psychological affects that a bully can have on their victim. You are only seeing the bullying take place in a passing way, but consider that the victim must live with this situation every day. To the victim it is a very big, painful ordeal. If you witness a bullying situation you should first put yourself in the victim’s place and try to imagine how you would feel. The golden rule still works. Treat the victim the way you would want to be treated. If you would want someone to stand up for you, then you should stand up for them as well.
Many people have found anonymous bullying reporting as a good alternative. This is especially true for kids who may not have the confidence to directly stand up to a bully on behalf of someone else. Anonymous bullying reporting is an effective anti-bullying tool because it is a huge step towards stopping a bully’s behavior, but at the same time it does not give them a new target to terrorize because they do not know who reported the abuse. Without a target the bully has been disarmed. This is a very powerful tool.
Anonymous bullying reporting is affective because it puts the information into the hands of people who can do the most good toward stopping the behavior. When a kid stands up to another kid, the outcome may not be as effective. The kid does not have the authority to stop the behavior. However, that same kid can be empowered to stop the behavior when they put the information into the right hands.
Going straight to an adult authority figure with bullying information is one way or report bullying. This is often an effective method; however, most young people are afraid that the teacher will use their name when confronting the bully. This is the one thing that discourages kids from getting involved. They do not want their names mentioned. If this is the case, then an anonymous note could be left for the teacher or authority figure. More recently, as incidents of bullying have escalated, schools have developed anonymous bullying reporting hotlines and websites. These hotlines and websites provide kids or even adults with a way to officially report bullying incidents anonymously. This has proven to be a great way to cut down on school bullying.
Websites such as www.reportabully.com have developed a data base of schools that are taking an active stand against bullying. At this website you can choose your school if they are in the database, and make a report. This safe, anonymous environment has encouraged many people to stand up for victims of bullying.