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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Bullying Awareness Month: What You Need To Know

By October 14, 2013

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October is Bullying Awareness Month, which is a great time to focus on a topic that brings more stress than many people realize. Bullying happens in schools across the nation, even as efforts are made by most schools to address the issue. (I definitely applaud the progress that has been made, and am happy to see that more efforts are being made to curtail bullying each year.) Sadly, the level of bullying that exists is still damaging to many victims worldwide, so more work needs to be done. There are several things parents, teachers, and administrators can do to help children who face bullying. Fellow students can help as well. Here are some useful resources from About.com:
  • What Are the Costs of Bullying?
  • How Witnessing Bullying Impacts Bystanders
  • 5 Things Every Parent Can Do to Prevent Bullying
  • 6 Types of Bullying
  • 5 Tips for Finding Outside Help for Your Bullied Child
  • We all know that bullying is something that occurs in many schools nationwide. But people may not realize that bullying is a somewhat common occurrence in many workplaces as well. One study found that, of 361 workers polled, 39% reported being bullied in at least one form on a monthly basis, and 18% said that they experienced some form of bullying on a weekly basis. This bullying led to increased absenteeism and had a negative effect on workers' health and well-being. Others have suggested that prolonged or severe bullying can lead to PTSD in some victims. Clearly, bullying is a painful and detrimental experience for children and adults.

    If you are exposed to bullying in the workplace, it is important to talk to your supervisor, visit your human resources department, or utilize whatever channels you can. You should not have to put up with a hostile work environment, and it is better for you and your company if this type of behavior is stopped.

    Bullying doesn't always occur in schools and in the workplace, however. Bullying can happen anywhere, in groups of any size, even in couples. Violence in relationships is a form of bullying that isn't always identified as such, but is quite harmful nonetheless. If you are in a relationship where you don't feel safe, it is important to get help. Additionally, if you're in a relationship that is ever fiolent, if you know someone who might be, or even if you yourself are having difficulty communicating in a healthy, respectful, nonviolent way, the following resources may be helpful:

    About.com has a site devoted to understanding and managing the effects of bullying. Visit bullying.about.com for more information and remember, nobody should have to put up with the stress of being bullied, nor should they have to sit by and watch it happen to themselves or someone else.

    Source: Dehue, Francine; Bolman, Catherine; Völlink, Trijntje; and Pouwelse, Mieneke. (Aug, 2012.) Coping with bullying at work and health related problems. International Journal of Stress Management, Vol 19(3), pp. 175-197

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