If you are looking for tips on how to stand up to bullying and deal with bullying and cyber bullying, know this fact up front: No one has to tolerate being bullied or cyberbullied. It is not acceptable behaviour and there are measures you can take to both prevent and address bullying. we encourage you to stand up to bullying.
Bullying is an insidious reality that can lead to needless heartbreak and even loss of life. Help with bullying starts with you, you need to stand up to bullying.
Bullying and cyber bullying comes with a myriad of warning signs that affect the bully’s target, including:
- Depression – Targets can quickly feel isolated and defeated. They need help from bullying and feel there is nowhere to turn.
- Loss of libido – A target who has been continually bullied can give up on goals, relationships and begin to feel “numb” to happy events. The thought of receiving help for being bullied seems unreachable.
- Self-harm – A target may turn to cutting or drug abuse to thwart the pain of being bullied.
- Suicide – There have been numerous incidents of young people committing suicide after being bullied either offline or online. Due to social media, numbers are up due to easier access to the target by the bully.
Types of Bullying
Sadly, bullying has extended to the intangible realm of computing and social media and it needs serious measures.
The Center for Cyberbullying Research has unearthed the following eye-popping statistics:
- Only one in ten teens communicate to their parents that they have been cyber bullied.
- Fewer than one in five cyber bullying incidents are reported to the law.
- One in ten adolescents have been a victim of having embarrassing or damaging images posted of themselves, most often by way of mobile phone cameras.
- One in five teens admit to have posted or transmitted sexually inappropriate or nude images of themselves.
- More than 80% of teenagers use a cellular phone regularly, making it the favoured mode of technology, hence the most common medium for cyber bullying.
- About one half of the young people alive today have been targets of some kind of cyber bullying.
- Girls are twice as likely than boys to be targets of cyber bullies.
- Boys are more likely than girls to be threatened by cyber bullies than girls.
- Cyber bullying affects all races and crosses all social and cultural lines.
- Cyber bullying victims are more liable to suffer from depression, low self esteem and tragically—suicide.
Bullies are running a muck in cyberspace, largely due to their being able to get away with it. Nobody knows about the bullying until a tragedy ensues. Then, we see it all over the news.
Cyber bullies incorrectly assume that their callous acts cannot be traced. The upside to winning in cyber bullying is the ease of documentation. These modes of new media are instantly a matter of record and can be accessed during an investigation:
- Instant messages
- Photos uploaded
A target for bullying on the internet simply needs to have the presence of mind to capture the incidents as they occur, and report them promptly.
Even if the perpetrator is cyber bullying “anonymously,” there are ways to trace cyber bullying to a particular computer or IP address. If you are a member of a social media site and receiving unwanted communications, whether anonymous or not, report the abuse to the site’s administrator, who can put a stop to the behaviour and if necessary, report it to law enforcement.
A target of bullying may be too embarrassed to share any incidents of cyber bullying. This can occur especially if the target has been the victim of identity theft. Bullies commonly break into their targets’ accounts and then post rumours, sexual content, suggestive photos, flaming email messages and more.
Let your child know up front that any message they post or receive is subject to be read by you as the parent.
If you are a parent whose teen is often on the internet, make it your business to know their password and regularly check their account. It is important to create a password that cannot be “hacked” and to change the password on a regular basis.
Here are some quick actions you can take on behalf of your teen who is being cyber bullied:
- Block the user.
- Respond to inappropriate posts by reporting them to the online community.
- Inform the offender’s parent or guardian.
- Inform the school your child attends.
- Call law enforcement.
If you are wondering how to deal with bullying in a school environment, there is help for your child if they have become the target of bullying. Most schools today have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. This includes bullying on school grounds, on the campus computer network, and in any school-related functions—including bullies on the school bus.
Do not tolerate school bullying or cyber bullying!
- Encourage your child not to keep being bullied in school a secret before it becomes an issue.
- Direct your child to the school counsellor. If they are not comfortable with this arrangement, have them come to you as the parent. Your report to the school should be in writing, with a copy to the school board.
- Your complaint should be treated with urgency and importance. If the school does not acknowledge your grievance to your satisfaction (if the bully is not stopped), report straight to the school board, armed with a copy of your correspondence, and be ready to take it to the state.
- Do not be afraid to call law enforcement. After all, the school bully might benefit from a visit from an officer of the law. If the bullying is severe enough, he or she may even be arrested.
A school bully is often crying out for attention he or she may not be getting at home. It could also be an indicator of abuse or neglect. Bringing the situation to light could not only stop the school bullying situation, but could redirect the bully into learning how to act and treat others on the school campus.
According to ABC Worldwide News, several bullies have conceded that had there been a zero tolerance policy, their bullying would have stopped.
No student has to stand for being terrorized in a school environment, online or offline.
Everyone has a right to work without being cyber bullied or verbally assaulted. A bully in the workplace is now against the law in most states. Anyone being made to live a miserable life at work by being bullied or cyber bullied is advised not to take this lying down!
If you are wondering how to deal with bullying at work, you should know that a hostile work environment is grounds for a law suit. Human Resource departments today are trained to treat such complaints as confidential and follow through with a full scale investigation.
Some workplace bullies don’t even know what they are doing is illegal. Many situations can be stopped with a proper workplace investigation and dealing with the workplace bully before it becomes a legal issue. Learn more at the Workplace Bullying Institute online.
Document every occurrence of the bullying and report it. If the report goes unheard, contact your local EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or a workplace attorney.
Remember, a co-worker or boss who simply has a bad attitude or sour personality does not constitute being a bully. There are legal requirements for a hostile work environment.
If you are unsure about your situation, see your human resource representative.
Any bullying situation in any environment needs to be brought to light immediately. If left unattended, you can be sure it will multiply in severity.