anything that is harmful, injurous, or offensive. Including
excessive wrongful misuse of a substance.
There are several
major types of abuse:
Sexual, Financial, Racial, Emotional, Substance, Neglect.
YES BULLYING IS ABUSE!
whether done intentionally or unintentionally, can have Life
long lasting and very damaging effects.
It is never too
late to ask for help and support.
misconception, sexual or physical abuse is not the most
common form of abuse
The biggest form of
For far too many years, Bullying within
Schools was brushed aside as being 'Just kids playing', a
case of ignore it and it may go away.
Some Parents and Teacher's who grew up
in the post war culture took the appalling 'pre-soldier'
attitude towards bullying, that it was 'Character Building'
and that it was just part of the process of growing up,
normally accompanied by statements of 'It will make a man of
you!' or something similar, then ignored and no further
At last bullying is being taken
seriously, the post war attitudes have faded although have
not gone completely, and Schools have introduced
anti-bullying policies which are helping to reduce the
amount of bullying. Policies alone however do not stop it,
it takes the understanding of teaching staff, parents and
other pupils, it takes observance and the freedom and
ability to act upon it that makes the difference.
Bullying is not just a form of
physical abuse, it can also be in many other forms,
sometimes many at the same time.
Just because your child has no bruises
or physical signs of being abused do not brush the subject
aside, they could be suffering from Emotional abuse;
Financial abuse; Racial abuse; Substance abuse.
Bullying is not just
limited to young children in the school playground, it can
happen to any age from a Baby to a Great-Grandparent. It can
happen in many places, at Home from family members or family
friends, within groups or at the workplace, even in
retirement homes and residential complexes. It can
happen to anyone anywhere!
Similarly those who
abuse can be of any age, it is not limited to similar age
groups, and more an more cases are coming to light of young
children even as young as three years old bullying their own
parents or the elderly.
Long Term Effects:
Bullying can have
lasting or even permanent effect on the victim's life, it
does not always end for them when the bullying is stopped,
the emotional effects caused by bullying can continue
throughout their life and can have a direct influence on
personal development and the working life of the individual,
and can even change their character. Some will become timid;
suppressed; fearful; anxious; depressed, be pushed into
Anorexia or Bulimia, or suffer from mental illnesses. To a
few others it can push them to become bullies themselves.
The old 'Character
building / toughing up process' attitude only promoted
bullying, it gave the bullies a 'get out of jail free' card,
it let them off and stopped them realising the damage they
were causing, making them think it was OK to continue. It
also did little to set a role model for life and many
continue to bully throughout the rest of their lives in
relationships and marriages; and in work environments
causing pain or grief to others, only their victims change!
Social situations can
sometimes set limitations, and these can then influence if
not generate bullying or abuse. Financial hardship for
instance from unemployment or through illness can induce the
need to make do with lower grade housing; lack of suitable
food; and can limit or even prevent the ability for parents
to buy clothing / equipment / toys / computers etc., that
match those of their peers. Although this is not
intentionally done by parents, it is important for them to
be observant for abuse this can cause, and also be careful
with their own actions so they do not 'add fuel to the fire'
and create the possibility of bullying and abuse.
Many of us, if not all,
will have endured or experienced some form of abuse
throughout our life, some may even still be accepting it as
'Normal Behaviour'. It is important that everybody children
and adults, understand not just the types of abuse, but how
they can have have lifelong damaging effects, and become
observant and pro-active against abuse so that we may reduce
if not eliminate any abuse that comes our way or towards
others we know.
There are many
forms of abuse, each has it's own causes; effects and
possible ways of easing the situation, I say 'ease'
and not 'cure', as although the abuse may be stopped, the
past can not be changed or erased, and the effects it has on
the victim can not be totally removed. The only thing
possible through help and support is to help the victim find
new coping mechanisms, and to create new ways of dealing
with the situation and lessening the long term effects it