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Bullying and Related Issues

Whether is occurs in the playground, office, housing estate or family, bullying can have devastating consequences to the victim. I am often consulted by clients experiencing after effect, often years after the bullying has ended - the oldest client being 84 years old still suffering from the after-effects of the bullying he experienced at school.

Common reactions include:

  • Depression
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Social anxiety and shyness
  • Insomnia
  • loneliness
  • Suicidal Thoughts

Victims of bullying often do not like to think of themselves as victims and therefore powerless against the bullies and so this may preclude the ability to speak out and get help. Another common problem is the realistic fear that asking for help mayactually make the problem worse - either because they fear being a "grass" or the admission of weakness, or that no one will be able to help.

"Why Me?" and "What did I do wrong to deserve this?" can become damaging pre-occupations and the victim can sink into a victim orientated personality.

Additional problems may occur in that the person the victim needs to turn towards for help may themselves be under the influence or control of the bully. They may be friends or aquaintance of the bully, or may in some way be a participant in the bullying - either deliberately or otherwise.

Other difficulties may be that the bully is in a position of authority or carries a high level of social power within the peer group, or the person the victim needs to turn to are themselves utterly inadequate to deal with the situation.

Whilst working in the NHS, I found myself being bullied quite maliciously by a senior colleague and I learned to my temporary cost that reporting the situation to hospital management really did make the problem worse.

I took expert legal advise external to the hospital administration and then took decisive and effective action against the individual and manager.

Most victims do not want revenge - they just want the situation to improve and the bullying to stop.

Since this time I have successfully represented clients in managerial meetings relating to bullying issues.

Resources

Childline
Leading UK childrens charity for help and advise on tacklinf childhood bullying.

Bully Online
Huge resource site on bullying issues in all contexts.

Bullying Online
Leading anti-bullying UK charity.

Freedom To Care
Protecting the right for care workers to speak out publicly.

BBC News: Bullying Rife in the NHS

BBC News: Midwives in Portsmouth Sacked Following Bullying Claims

British Medical Journal
Workplace bullying in NHS community trust: staff questionnaire survey.

Countering Racist Bullying Webcast
Chris Gaine is a Professor at the University of Chichester, and a successful writer and researcher on countering racist bullying.