This Friday is the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. Omika aims to help women live courageous, purpose driven lives – living courageously manifests in many ways, such as standing for what is right. Whilst this national day is focused on children, schools and parents, we hope that by writing this post we can help you help others who may be affected by bullying.
So what does our title mean, “I’m not clay?” Take a moment to listen to this song and you’ll know why – it is a song that every young person needs to hear, by thirteen-year-old Grace VanderWaal, winner of the eleventh season of America’s Got Talent:
What is bullying? “Bullying is when one person (or a group of people) with more power than someone else repeatedly tries to upset or hurt them. This power can come from being more popular, strong or part of the group. They might repeatedly try to hurt them physically, socially isolate them, or say and do mean or humiliating things to them” (“Learn About Bullying,” 2017).
Examples include repeatedly:
- physically hurting someone
- keeping someone out of a group (online or in person)
- saying mean or humiliating things, or spreading rumours or lies
- sending nasty messages or inappropriate images online
- tagging inappropriate or unflattering images online (“Learn About Bullying,” 2017).
The Bullying No Way website has some tips on what to do if a young person is being bullied:
Bullying is very real and prevalent – at least one in five young people report being bullied each year and 84% of students bullied online were also bullied in person. What is also important is that peers were present in 87% of bullying incidents and therefore can play an important role in bullying interactions (Facts and Figures 2017). If you’re there when someone else is being bullied, if you feel safe to, there are a number of things you can do such as refusing to be part of the bullying, telling the bully to stop and inviting the person bullying to join your group – for more ways to help, visit the Bullying No Way website here.
An aspect of bullying which is more relevant today than a generation ago, is online bullying, or cyberbullying. Young people are constantly using technology – smart phones, iPads, laptops – they are often connected through multiple social media channels. It is important for young people to know how to be safe online and what to do in the event of cyberbullying. There are some great tips here at the Childnet website, such as:
- Being careful about you say online and what images you send
- Thinking before you send (once something is online, it can be shared very quickly)
- Keeping contact details private
- Blocking the bully
- Not retaliating or replying
- Saving evidence and
- Telling others such as an adults, teacher and report to the relevant social network (“Cyberbullying,” 2017).
Lastly, this video is just one example of how bullying impacts on real lives:
For more information on what you can do, visit https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/, where you can find out about the signs of bullying and much more. At Omika, we hope that we can all play a part in empowering young people to be take a stand against bullying.
Learn About Bullying. (2017). https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/YourRole/ForTeens/Pages/LearnAboutBullying.aspx
Cyberbullying. (2017). http://www.childnet.com/young-people/secondary/hot-topics/cyberbullying