Bullying is an issue that has always been very close to my heart, from suffering it at school, to feeling the effects of it even recently at nearly 30 years old. It’s a small word that covers a multitude of issues, and it comes in so many forms; from physical harm to mental and emotional intimidation, which is surprisingly common with those you might consider friends, colleagues or even family.

Then there is the ever increasing and highly damaging online ‘cyber’ bullying issue, where these people are thriving. Did you know that there is even a hashtag ‘cyberbulliesunite’? Keyboard warriors and bullies that hide behind the ‘safety’ of their screens finding an easy resource in which to target people they don’t know, have never met, and have no place to judge and victimise in any way, shape or form. They play out their own issues, insecurities and downright ignorance onto people who don’t deserve it (I’ve touched on this before in my post Miscommunication Madness).

Bullying is defined as ‘using strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something’ and it doesn’t affix itself to a particular age or circumstance; it comes in all shapes and sizes and from the apparently obvious to the seemingly unlikeliest of sources. It can be a devastating ordeal and cause very real, very harmful situations.

There is help out there, from finding the right people to talk to if you’re being bullied; family, teachers, friends, colleagues to support groups such as the Samaritans who are there to talk to no matter what you’re struggling with, bulling or otherwise. I am a huge supporter of their work, having turned to them in the past myself.

This is something I want to get more involved with next year. I want to raise questions such as whether we should be helping these people as opposed to punishment, and looking into how we can raise awareness and get help for people suffering this abuse and dealing with the effects it has such a depression, which deeply effects health and relationships of everyone around us.

I am looking for direction, contacts, events etc. and if you can help, have an experience with bullying or someone who has been (or perhaps is a bully?) the please do contact me.

In the meantime for support and advice, you can check out www.bullying.co.uk and www.samaritans.co.uk

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