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The Similarities of Bullying & Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence and Bully Prevention Month.

abuseEveryone needs to be aware of these two very similar and related methods of ABUSE .  In both domestic violence and bullying, certain behaviors are used to control another person. The behavior may occur in either a married or not married situation, it could be heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or living together, separated or dating. The behaviors may be occurring at school with kids or at home between siblings or even parents bullying kids. It even has happened at time with teachers on students. Here is a list of just some of the behaviors that are abusive that could be domestic violence or bullying:

  • name calling or put downs
  • keeping a person away from friends
  • actual or threatening physical harm
  • stalking
  • intimidation
  • sexual assault

Anyone could be a victim.  Abuse that starts as bullying as a child may grow up and either be abused or become the abuser.   It may be male on female, but can be the other way around too or male on male or female on female.

If you are being ABUSED – Remember

  • You are not alone
  • It is not your fault
  • Help is available.

For assistance with bully prevention check out our coaching,  advocacy work, and school workshops.

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Put Downs Are Not Cool at Home or In School!

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There was a little girl in just the 3rd grade who was very active and loved to do things outside. She loved to play ball and ride her bike, climb trees and just have a lot of fun. Her classmates have started to make fun of her and especially of her short hair.  This is Samantha and really she is very cute and loving. However, the taunts of her friends really is starting to bother her and she does not like to hear them.

This is a classroom that needs to learn that put-downs are not cool. They have not built a peaceful and kind culture yet.  In a situation like this the teacher wants to work with the whole class. Building a culture of peace could begin with recognizing that we are the same and different at the same time taunts of her friends really is starting to bother her and she does not like to hear them.

You could start with a game of “I’m Looking For”. The simple version is to make a circle and have one person ask a question, “I’m looking for everyone with brown eyes.” Then everyone with brown eyes comes to the middle of the circle. They can go back out and a new ‘looking for’ question is asked. After everyone has a chance to ask questions about favorite colors, pets, color of hair and eyes, birthday months you can ask what were some of the things you had in common and discuss similarities and differences. To take it further, discuss all the ways everyone around the world are the same including our emotional needs.

Summarize with understanding that sometimes people put others down or make fun of them because they are different in some way. We will focus on the things that are the same and if we do we will be building a culture of kindness and peace in the classroom or at home.

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Parenting: Bully Prevention For Your Child

What should you do if your child is being bullied in school? Will you even know? If the the child is not talking about it, are there other signs that may help you know that they need help and some skills to deal with those kind of behaviors?

parenting-classesThe Bullying Prevention Class for Parents will be held on February 5, 2013 at 9:15 AM at Balanced Life Skills. The class led by bully prevention expert, Joe Van Deuren, will answer these questions along with why children do not tell and how to help your child even if they are not the target of bully at this time.

All parents in the community are invited no matter how old your child is and please feel free to invite your friends and neighbors. In our last class one of the participants said, “Every parent should take this class, I learned so much.”

Watch for our Focus on Friendship class for students too. The next one is on February 8th at 5 PM for Kindergarten and First Graders, both boys and girls. Call for more details.

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Bully Calls News Anchor Fat – But Was it Really Bullying?

Over and over on Facebook I have been seeing this video being played that is noted below. So many workmates and others on Facebook have come to the side of the news anchor in support and it is heartwarming to see so many stand up for this young lady. The words that were sent to her obviously did nothing to make her feel good about herself and many of her colleagues and others have denounced what they called bullying. Please watch this and then I will comment on what I saw and heard.

 

Sending an email like this to someone whom you do not know anything about but what you see on TV was wrong. Would I like to see her lose weight. Yes for her own health’s sake. Do I know if she is on a medication that may lead to retention of weight? No I do not. Do I know if she has a medical condition that causes her to not be able to keep weight off? I do not. So I should keep my mouth shut and accept her for who she is and how she conducts herself. I may want to practice some empathy, tolerance, consideration.

But is this a case of bullying? The answer is a clear NO. Is this a case of a typical bullying behavior (name calling)? That is a clear YES. This was not bullying as defined by all of the experts, as bullying is defined as being DELIBERATE (with the intention to hurt someone) REPEATED (targeting the same person again and again) POWER IMBALANCE (difference in social, economical or some other perceived imbalance). This situation does not seem to fit this definition.

However the message she delivered in response to the sender was spot on. It covered many good points and I commend her for the response. But I would suggest that it was not bullying and not fair to those who are really being bullied, who have put up with all sorts of messages, physical and verbal abuse, being ostracized or manipulated or rumors & gossip being spread about them or many times much worse.

We should not be misusing the bullying tag.  We can and should stand up against bullying behavior and bullying.  But when we mix up bullying with bad taste, uncivilized behavior it is a slap in the face to the thousands of individuals who are bullied everyday.

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October is National Bully Prevention Month

I want to share a story with you:

I”ve been bullied, ALL BY GIRLS, since I was 10. When it first started it was these twin girls who harrassed me too my face, told rumors about me. When they left the school, they started to cyberbully me. I was so hurt, and even got some death threats. I was scared, but ignored them so they got bored and moved on. Then I was 12, and this girl I was friends with suddenly decided she thought I was a “loser” for no reason. She stopped when I was 14. When I was 13 though, I had a friend and she made fun of EVERYTHING I did from Septmeber until around April or May. I finally told a teacher when she threw a fruit in my hair. I was miserable. She was suspended for half a day. It was horrible. Then my best friend, while all this was happening, decided she liked the bully more than me, so she joined in, but only on the computer. The bullying finally stopped for awhile. Then, when I was 14, this girl, also my friend, decided I needed to feel worthless. It was terrible I didn”t think this was very fair. She”s being nice to me again. My other old friend was also bullying me about how I spoke and apparently I”m clingy. She gossiped about me all the time. That”s resolved too. Sometimes I just wonder what I”m doing wrong because so many people start to dislike me randomly.

What can you do spread awareness and end bullying in your community?  This month of October is National Bully Prevention Month.  When you read a story like this from a 14 year old girl, how does it make you feel?  The Pacer Center is sending this message to everyone – The end of bullying begins with me!

 

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