A Different View at Anti-Bullying Campaigns

Majority of campaigns we see popping up each year around Pink T-Shirt Day focuses on the victims of bullying. They challenge us to identify the bullies and stop them before they hurt another person. The question is though, what is the point of identifying the aggressors or reporting them if we can’t really “stop” them or many times we are not even present to protect the victim? Maybe we should change the usual approach and think what is prompting bullies to bully others.

If we look at bullying from a different more complex perspective, we’ll realize there is always a reason behind each action. So why do bullies hurt others?

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This quote explains it perfectly: “There are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict. Walk away! The battle they are fighting isn’t with you, it is with themselves.” However, I disagree the walk away part. Victims of bullying need help in these battles; they won’t be able to win by themselves and a little bit of help will not hurt us. People bully because they are lonely, crave attention, have low self-esteem or they are dealing with personal struggles such as family issues or even are bullied themselves. Perhaps, all they need is someone who can listen to what they are going through and help them snap out from their old ways. We would without doubt react differently if the bully is someone close to us such as our friends or family members. We would definitely try to help them by listening and understanding where they are coming from.

It’s time to look beyond the visible symptoms and deal with the root causes instead. We can do much more than just wear pink one Wednesday in the year to show our solidarity. We should create, support and focus on anti-bullying campaigns that are effective. That is, we should focus on both sides of the problem, bullies and their victims. We need to help and support those that need our hand. For starters, we should identify bullies in our close circles and help them stop leashing out their anger and frustrations onto others. If we do not stop the problems at its source, the number of victims will keep growing. So this year, make sure that if you see a bully, you’ll offer him/her a helping hand too. That helping hand can save many lives.

Some useful links on bullying you should check out:

  1. How to Stop a Bully: The Origins of Bullying And a Five Step Response
  2. What if Your Child IS the One Showing Bullying Behavior?
  3. Working with Young People Who Bully Others

Lily Chan

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