Do Not Blame the Victim of a Bully

Bullying continues to be an undeniable problem in this country. Not only are adults dealing with it, we often have to help our own children through their own bullying ordeals. It truly can be a vicious cycle for many of us.

October is National Bullying Prevention month. This means that more attention is focused on this critical issue. We hear stories of kids of all ages being harassed in a myriad of ways. Why are they doing this? For many, it’s all about having power over another person.

What I would like to remind you this October is the following:

Never blame the victim of a bully

Yes, you read that right. As hard as it may be to believe, the victims of bullies may be blamed or shamed if they speak up. As if it isn’t hard enough to get the courage to say something, imagine another person pointing fingers at you for being intimidated and harassed by another individual. Like you had some kind of control of this matter.

Now, imagine what this would do to your self esteem. The person you trusted enough to talk to has turned the fault of the bullying on YOU.

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

This is not acceptable and must stop. There is never a reason why the person being bullied should feel as if they did something wrong. They are vulnerable enough and should have support. The victim needs other to stand by their side so they feel comfortable enough to use their voice to stop the vicious cycle.

It doesn’t matter how you define bullying or harassment. The fact is that when another person is being touched, bothered, verbally abused, or feel like they are not safe – something is wrong. Nobody should have to suck it up and deal. The reality is that the victim also has rights.

Both of my children have been bullied. It’s something we have had to deal with many times over the years. I am thankful that NHL and JSL have both been comfortable enough to tell us when this has happened. In addition to this, New York State has the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) that grants rights to students that are bullied in school. This paragraph alone is extremely powerful:

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

This is a great start, but a lot needs to be done in schools and throughout our society.

How do you help others when you see or know they are being bullied? If you have been the person bullied, what do you wish others had done to help you?

It's Me

Some of my previous posts about bullying:

Bullying posts by TechyDad: My Bullied History

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