BULLYING

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    Youthbeyondblue Fact sheet 20




                                                                                                                              TAKING ACTION
                                                                                                                              AGAINST BULLYING
                                                                                                                              There are many different things you
                                                                                                                              might be able to do if you are being
                                                                                                                              bullied. Depending on how bad
                                                                                                                              the bullying is (and as long as you
                                                                                                                              aren’t feeling unsafe or physically
                                                                                                                              threatened), you might decide to try
                                                                                                                              and work it out yourself first. Here
                                                                                                                              are some tips that may be helpful,
                                                                                                                              especially for verbal bullying.


BULLYING                                                                                                                      •	Ignore the bully (including mobile
                                                                                                                                phone or email bullying) – Bullies are
                                                                                                                                looking for a reaction and often lose
                                                                                                                                interest if they don’t get one.
                                                                                                                              •	Stay with others – Stick to areas
                                                              There are many ways that someone can be bullied.                  where you feel safe and hang out with
Bullying is many different things.                                                                                              people you trust. Bullies won’t normally
                                                              Verbal bullying includes name calling or put downs, threats,
Anyone can be bullied – it’s a lot                            teasing, including sexual harassment and innuendo (this
                                                                                                                                pick on you as much when there are
                                                                                                                                other people around.
more common than people think and                             can also be done through email or sms). Physical bullying
                                                                                                                              •	Stay positive and be confident –
can happen at school, at home, on                             includes being punched, tripped, kicked or having your
                                                                                                                                Try to think of all the things you do well.
                                                              belongings stolen or damaged. It might also include sexual
the sporting field or at work. If you                         abuse. Social bullying, where you are left out, ignored or
                                                                                                                                Bullies usually pick on people that they
                                                                                                                                think are weaker than they are, so it
are being bullied, it’s important to                          have rumours spread about you, is also very common.               may help if you stand up to them.
remember that you are not to blame                            Psychological bullying is often less obvious or direct than
                                                                                                                              •	Keep out of their way – It might be
                                                              other forms of bullying. You might be given dirty looks or
or responsible for someone picking                                                                                              possible for you to avoid the bully, for
                                                              stalked, or made to feel intimidated or manipulated.              example by travelling a different way
on you, and that there are steps you                          Cyberbullying is a form of bullying which is carried out          to school, or avoiding the places that
can take to solve the problem.                                through an internet service such as email, chat room,             they hang out.
                                                              discussion group, online social networking, instant             •	Don’t reply to bullying messages –
WHAT IS BULLYING?                                             messaging or web pages. It can also including bullying            It’ll only get worse if you do. By replying
                                                              through mobile phone technologies such as SMS.                    the bully gets what he or she wants.
Bullying isn’t a one-off incident – a friend being in
                                                              Being bullied can lead to stress, intimidation and even           Often if you don’t reply the bully will
a bad mood one day, calling you names and then                                                                                  leave you alone.
                                                              physical injury. People who are bullied often feel that they
apologising later. It’s when name-calling or threats
                                                              are all alone and think there is nothing they can do to solve   •	Ask for help – If the bullying doesn’t
go on for some time that it becomes bullying.                                                                                   stop you might find it helpful to ask
                                                              the problem. Ongoing bullying is of great concern. It can
In reality, just about anything can be used as a reason for   lower a person’s self-esteem and lead to feelings of sadness,     someone else for advice. You should
bullying. People are often bullied because they are seen      depression, anger and confusion. If you are being bullied it      also report it to someone in charge –
as being ‘different’– often because of the way they look,     is vital to keep reminding yourself that it’s not your fault      either at school or at work.
or the clothes they wear or even the way they behave.         and that there is something you can do about the problem.




Visit:         www.youthbeyondblue.com
Info line:     1300 22 4636
beyondblue: the national depression initiative
                                                                                                                                                                 PAGE 2 OF 2




WHY DO PEOPLE
BULLY OTHERS?
A bully can be an individual, or a
group of people. It can either be
someone your own age or older,
including friends, your boyfriend
or girlfriend, brother or sister, or
an extended family member. A bully
can also be an older person, or
someone in a position of power
such as a teacher, parent or boss.
Often a bully has low self-esteem and may even have
been bullied in the past themselves. They may use                 KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER
bullying as a way of making themselves feel more                  •	Everyone	has	the	right	to	live,	work,	study    •	Avoiding	or	ignoring	a	bully,	reporting	bullying,
powerful. Bullies can be motivated by jealousy and some             and play in an environment free from bullying,   or asking for help, is not giving in to bullying,
bullies do not understand the amount of hurt they are               harassment, discrimination and violence.         but about looking after yourself and making
causing. If you are being bullied, it may help to remember          No one deserves or asks to be bullied.           sure you are happier and more comfortable.
that bullies are often not as tough as they make out.             •	Dealing	with	the	feelings	that	come	from       •	If	you	don’t	feel	as	if	you	are	believed	or	taken
                                                                    being bullied can be hard and seeking help       seriously, or if no action is taken, it doesn’t
GETTING HELP                                                        is one way to help you to overcome them.         mean that your feelings aren’t valid or the
Try and remember that no matter how hard you try,                   By identifying these feelings you may be         bullying should continue. It’s important you
the bully might not be willing to change their behaviour.           able to find ways to get bullying to stop.       tell someone else and continue to do so until
This is when talking to someone else can be really helpful.                                                          you are helped.
This may seem scary at first, however, telling someone
can lighten your load and help you to work out how to
solve the problem and stop being bullied. Talking to
someone is particularly important if you feel unsafe or
frightened, or if you don’t have many friends. Asking for
help or talking to someone about it is not being weak or
‘giving in’. In fact it can take a lot of strength and courage.
While it might seem like ‘dobbing’, it’s important to
tell someone in charge about what is happening.
School authorities want to know about bullying so they
can take action and try to stop bullying across the school.
There are many people who can support you, including
friends, older brothers and sisters, teachers, family,
counsellors or parents. Teachers and counsellors are              MORE INFORMATION                                      ReachOut.com www.reachout.com
specially trained and it’s their job to help.                     AND SUPPORT                                           Information and support for young people
Whoever you talk to, it should be someone you know                                                                      going through tough times
                                                                  You can speak to trained counsellors
well and trust; they will give you much-needed support            by phoning these 24-hour telephone                    National Centre Against Bullying www.ncab.org.au
and will often have suggestions you hadn’t considered for         counselling services:                                 Information and research for schools about bullying
dealing with the situation. If you are seeing a counsellor        Lifeline 13 11 14 (cost of a local call)
and feel you might get too nervous to speak, write down                                                                 The websites below can help you to find health
                                                                  Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (freecall)                services in your area. They list services that are
what you’d like to say on paper or in an email. You might
                                                                  Information and support is also available             either free of charge or low cost:
feel more comfortable taking a friend with you.
                                                                  from the following websites:                          Kids Help Line www.kidshelp.com.au
Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know
                                                                  beyondblue www.youthbeyondblue.com                    Lifeline Service Finder
and that’s where services like Kids Help Line and Lifeline
                                                                  or www.beyondblue.org.au                              www.lifeline.org.au/service_finder
are useful (see contact details opposite).
                                                                  Information on depression, anxiety
                                                                  and how to help a friend                              If you or a friend want to communicate with
                                                                                                                        someone via email or online, Kids Help Line offers
The best place to start is to talk to people you trust –          headspace www.headspace.org.au                        confidential, non-judgemental, emotional support
friends, family and teachers – about what is happening            Information, support and help near you                24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
to you and to discuss with them some ways of dealing
with the problem.                                                 SOURCES This fact sheet is based on the following sources:
                                                                  n beyondblue www.youthbeyondblue.com n ReachOut.com www.reachout.com
                                                                  (see fact sheet on cyberbullying)




Visit:         www.youthbeyondblue.com
Info line:     1300 22 4636
beyondblue: the national depression initiative                                                                                                                               03/10

				
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