Dealing with bullying is a very difficult matter, and not all cases of bullying can be dealt with in the same way. Here are some general guidelines and tips you can follow. These guidelines and tips are written in such a way that most of them can be followed even when there is nobody around to assist the victim of bullying, however, when possible, always follow the golden rule: see something, say something.
The following list is compiled of various sources, including Childline South Africa and various resources in the US and Australia, as well as a presentation we’ve done before.
How to keep safe and dealing with bullying
- Walk with other people who live near you – bullies will be more hesitant to bully you where there are witnesses or people who can help you.
- Vary your routine and route – if the bullies don’t know where you are, they can’t bully you.
- Follow the golden rule – if you see something, say something. Victims of bullying cannot always, or will not always speak up. It is our job as observers to help where we can, even if it is just to tell someone with the means to help.
- Stay in safe areas – bullies will be more hesitant to bully you in areas that have more visibility by people in a position to help you. Stay in areas that are well lit, has lots of people around, and away from dangerous obstacles (where a bully could trip you, for example), like a fish pond, or a rock garden.
- Sit near adults on the bus – bullies will most likely not bully you if you are sitting near adults on the bus. Bullies are notorious for bullying where they are not observed, or where they are observer by people over whom they have influence. They are less likely to bully you where you are amongst adults or other people empowered to stop bullying.
- Be careful to who you give your cell phone number to – cyber bullying is on the rise. It grows year on year, and is slowly becoming the preferred method of bullies world-wide, but more so for female bullies than male. Cyber bullying has potential to be a lot more dangerous, as the impact on the victim is observed by potentially thousands of people, which, in contrast to physical bullying, is usually only seen by a few. The more people that see the bullying, the more the victim is humiliated.
Please be careful out there. As always, if you see something, say something!
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