Last month was 'National Bullying Month' in the US and in the UK this week 16th-20th November its anti-bullying week. Unfortunately, bullies don't confine their unpleasant activities to the month of October or a week in November they come out to torment every day, 365 days a year.
This subject is something that is very close to my heart, as I was a victim of bullying. Bullies, as we know like to pick on someone they know or think won't retaliate to their taunting. You're singled out because there may be something that they identify as a weakness, or just because you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. You may come across them in school, the neighbourhood you live in or happen to journey on the number 39 bus alongside them.
In my case, my encounter with my bully was at school and I had two characteristics that were a bully's dream come true, one being I was overweight, the other being that I had a speech disorder. I can say 'was' and 'had' because they no longer apply, however at the time it was going on, I spent many tearful days and nights. Trying to ignore the jibes, the punches and bad jokes made at my expense wasn't always easy.
Luckily for me I could talk to my family, teachers and with the support they gave me I realized that whether I stuttered or not, this bully would be a bully anyway. Bullies now have more ways in which they can connect with their victims and as much as I think the cyber world is great, it most definitely has incredibly bad points.
I don't think bullies are going to be eradicated in the near future, thankfully though for their victims there are many more registered charities, organizations, specialist groups now, who can help those affected. Awareness lets victims know that they no longer need to make their journey alone and the bullies hopefully one day will accept that the door of society isn't open to them unless they change their ways.
If you liked this post you may also like 'Sticks and Stones' my blog post, October 26th, 2012.