Bullying happens everywhere. We often think of a bully as the kid in the playground who wanted everyone’s lunch money or the kid behind the computer sending mean messages at night. But have you ever taken the time to understand bullying as something that is continual? What does that mean? Simple, bullying is something that takes place repeatedly, and has the ability to change its form without us often being aware. Even though bullying may have begun on the playground or behind the computer, our minds have a strange way of making us relive our past experiences. In other words, anytime we have been told, “you are not beautiful, smart or good”, our minds accept such lies and repeat them to us as true. Eventually, these lies not only subtly follow us into womanhood, but are heard through our own voices, where we find ourselves continually battling with childhood memories we thought we left behind.
Girls who face or have faced bullying are more likely to face:
Decreased academic achievement1
Loss of identity
There are many things you can do if you have experienced bullying, are being bullied or have witnessed someone being bullied:
- Tell someone. Allowing bullying to take place in silence only keeps the person bound, however speaking up breaks all secrecy and silence
- Be involved in community initiatives. You would be surprised how your focus can change when you are being productive making a difference in the community around you
- Create anti-bullying initiatives. Use your voice to speak up against bullying by putting together ideas on how to bring about awareness
- Help inform others. Use your experience to help others to understand what bullying does and how they can be a part of breaking this cycle.
We realize that we may not necessarily change the bully, nor may we completely stop bullying from happening. But what we do know is help to make others aware of the effects of bullying and inspire others to do something about it.
” Don’t mistake my vulnerability as weakness, but rather my vulnerability is my first step toward courage.” -NP