Time to stand up to bullies
I recently entered an online community group and became a witness to a full-blown incident of bullying by an individual with an axe to grind. There was no limit to her attack, even encroaching on the character of one member’s young child.
The members of the site tried to use reason with her but to no avail. Feeling a bit incensed I tried to put up a defence for the people being attacked and became a fresh target. The comments directed at me became outrageous and defamatory. It is hard to defend oneself against someone who has no limit to what they say and have no line they fear to cross. The bully thrives in this online environment.
The provincial cyber-bullying law that was brought in a few years ago was struck down last year with the province promising a new law this fall. So unless there is a direct threat a person just has to suck it up unless one wants to pursue a civil case.
So why is bullying allowed to continue? Why is the bully allowed to get away without repercussions for what he/she says or does. One of the reasons is because the audience that the bully craves will not come to the victim’s defence. And a bully survives with an audience. But either because of a lack of courage, or fear that the bully will turn their attention to them, people become bystanders and do nothing.
And lets not be mistaken. Bullying takes place in all areas of our lives. It’s not just in school, or online, but in the locker room and at work and among families.
It’s difficult to tell children what to do if they are a witness to bullying. I tell my oldest child that if she is a witness to bullying to not give encouragement to the bully. Instead, give some support to the victim, tell an adult, tell your Mom and Dad what took place, or do some of the other things outlined here https:// www.verywell.com/what-kidsshould-do-when-they-witnessbullying-460686
In the workplace it can be an even more complicated matter. Sometimes the bullying isn’t obvious to other people and the victim may have little recourse. Being a mere bystander here shows either a complete lack of courage and/or a failure to recognize what an individual can do to make things harder on the bully and easier for the victim.
At work if the victim does complain the bully can worsen the situation. The victim can be made out to be overly sensitive or even mentally ill, or that they just can’t take a joke. The bully may also try to win people over to his/her side by presenting themselves as the victim instead. http://www. bullyfreeatwork.com/why-doesthe-bully-get-away-with-it/
We are part of a collective on this earth and as a collective we need to defend people who are attacked, become victims and are weakened because of it. What kind of society are we if we allow this behaviour to continue? Make yourself aware; read up on what you can do. There are always options. Don’t just stand there!
Bill Fiander Sydney
I have lived on Parkwod Dr. in Sydney River for 35 years.
For most of that time – over 30 years – the street was peaceful and quiet but over the last three years speeds have ranged anywhere from 60km to 90km any time day or night.
What really surprises me is that the speeders are of all ages, male and female, and live on this street and surrounding streets. Also, delivery trucks, taxis and visitors follow this speeding trend.
I am lucky, as my children are gone, but on this street there are several pre-school children, young school children and seniors. My fear is that if they step off the curb, they will be killed.
I have had signs up and down the street saying ‘slow down, children playing’ or ‘you live here, too’ but this has not helped.
What I am asking all of you is to respect our neighbourhood and our children’s lives.
Please help. SLOW DOWN! Art Risk Sydney River