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How to beat bullying
According to research around 30% of kids in and similar large cities London have suffered violent abuse or bullying in one way or the other. Another recent survey amongst 16 - 25 years shows that 40% of them have suffered a physical or sexual attack in their childhood by another youngster of a similar age.
Bullying is rather a bigger issue than most people think with around 50% sustaining physical injuries, 30% threatened with a weapon and around 10% being knocked unconscious.
The impact of the abuse is many victims becoming involved in drink, drugs, running from home and having eating disorders such as anorexia and depression. Many victims often become physical abusers themselves.
In Japan, bullying has been a serious problem with kids actually turning to suicide to escape from it all. In Japan schools in Japan, being different and standing out too much can cause one to be a target of bullying. There have even been cases of murder from bullying.
Official statistics estimate that 30 percent of 10 - 15 year old students could easily be the subject of bullying. These statistics are rather shocking, but the founder of the Charity Kidscape (for beating bullying) Dr. Michelle Elliot is not at all surprised. She started some assertiveness courses, for bullying victims which helped boost their confidence a great deal. Some of the children where even suicidal. 100's of children are getting help every year through this course.
She mentions the following in her book, "bullying happens in schools everywhere, the difference is that different schools have different ways of handling it. Too many schools still have the non-blaming approach, where the bully will not be reprimanded. The bully simple is left having to make a decision as to how to change".
My own observations from working in schools in the past is that the victim simply writes down how they feel and is left at that. I can't see how that will improve the situation, and it seems difficult to beat bullies using this method.
This method although very much condemned, many schools still do this and people assume that the bullying is being taken care of, when in fact it can even make things worse. I believe their should be severe consequences for bullies, something that really makes them think twice before doing it again. There are countless way school can punish bullies but too many schools are turning a blind eye until its too late and a serious or even fatal injury occurs.
Parents can also help the issue. Dr. Elliot's book also mentioned that if you sense your child is being bullied, ask them direct about the problem as they may be too embarrassed to tell you. If they feel suicidal then they shouldn't be going to that school. If you do nothing as a parent and your child doesn't say anything then you are fueling the bully.
Standing up for yourself.
Some parents may teach their child to stand up for their self, this can mean either verbally or physically confronting the bully. This is very risky as it can go two ways.
1. The bully could respect you and never bother you again (even if you lose in a physical confrontation). This method may certainly work for some people but not all.
2. It could anger the bully and actually escalate the situation, make life even more difficult.
Students who are victims of bullying may feel overwhelmed, depressed or anxious. If your child is facing problems at school or with friends as a result of the harassment. A mental health professional, such as a psychologist can help build resilience and confidence. This will allow your child to be more successful both in social and academic settings.