Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has read, liked, commented, favourated, retweeted and reblogged my previous post “Troll In The Dungeon: Why Online Bullies Are The Worst”. I appreciated the fact that something that I wrote made some sort of impact on many people. I would also like to thank those who supported me when I got trolled. If it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t have gotten my confidence back.
One comment in particular stood out to me. It was by a woman who got bullied herself in high school. She wrote down 4 ways to help out a bully victim. I felt that this useful information should be shared. So, (with her permission) I have decided to write out the four ways:
- Solidarity: Show the victim that they are not alone or isolated.
- Intervene: Bullies tend to back off if someone challenges them and puts them in their place. We tend to look away or watch passively. Don’t. Look and act.
- Educate: Bullying is not “just fun” or a “misunderstood joke”. Many do not realise how severe the pain they inflict is. What is funny to some, is hurtful to others.
- Talk: If someone is showing distress, ask about it. Remember that denial is a common coping strategy and admitting to the abuse makes it real and harder to deal with. If you feel something is wrong, go with your gut, even if they deny it. It is a hard step to admit to the abuse as it also means acknowledging the pain. Give them time to trust you and open up to you. Be there, be gentle but persistent. Talk can also include notifying family members, teachers, priests, or the police (if this is physical abuse).
Honestly, doing these four things can be difficult. Depending on the extent on the abuse and the people involved, you can end up in the line of fire as collateral damage. If you feel that you are not strong enough to stand your ground and take possible flak, then tell someone who is. That be a teacher,a parent, a priest, the police or any other person you think has enough authority to end the situation.
Doing nothing is not an option.