Harassment means violent or aggressive behavior directed towards a defenseless victim. Attacks extend over time, are intended to cause damage and occur mostly without prior provocation. Assaults can be verbal (insults, teasing, screaming, etc.), physical (kicking, pushing, etc.), psychological (threaten, provoke fear …) or social (exclude, ignore …). Some can leave lasting after-effects, even for a lifetime.
According to the last survey we conducted, more than 40% of the adults (the survey was made to adults) claimed to have witnessed events of this type when they studied. Almost a third, in fact, admitted to having suffered its consequences in a severe way. Among those who identified in their student period with the role of witness or victim had more respondents aged 18 to 24, precisely those who had it more recent. In addition, many of the people who claimed to have suffered harassment admitted that in the present they have nightmares and also experience pain or anguish when reliving those moments or going through situations that remind them.
Harassment can occur anywhere. According to our latest survey are the primary schools where most happens. In particular, the courtyards, the classrooms, the trips to or from the teaching center and the bathrooms are the most common scenario of abuse.
It requires a change of attitude towards harassment, in any of its areas and forms. Witnessing such a situation and not doing anything only serves to make the bully grow up and champion at his ease. Unfortunately, there still persist strong beliefs such as “the victim was looking for him”, “violence to the weak cures them and makes them strong” or “they are unimportant facts”.
Let’s see step by step how to act against the bullying of our children:
- Pay attention to your child and observe his mood and behavior changes.
- Listen to your child and assure him that he has the right to feel safe and happy, that being bullied is not his fault: avoid asking him to defend himself, at least directly. Empathize with him, feel his fear, his shame and do not ask him to do something for which he is not prepared.
- Take notes of what you have dates, places and facts.
- Tell him that you are by his side and ask him how he thinks you can help him.
- Explain to your child the difference between “betraying” and “counting or asking for help”: while the first option is used to get a partner in trouble, the second allows you to protect a person.
- Reinforce the self-esteem of your child by telling him and pointing out all the things he does well
- Ask for an appointment with your son’s teacher and the director of the establishment to find out if they are aware of the situation: report what you know and ask what measures will be taken from school.
- Teach your child to respond to bullying: bullies enjoy a position of power, like to feel superior and generate fear. If you teach your child to minimize the impact that harassment has on him (at least in front of the harasser), he will probably tire of bothering him. For example, if the bully or stalker approaches your son insulting him, your little one can tell him that his jokes really do not appeal to anyone anymore, that it is time to look for something else to do, and then turn around and leave . This indifferent attitude can help to cut the harassment situation.
- Contact the two policemen assigned to your child’s school so that they are alert to situations that may occur outside school hours.
- Go to the police station if the bullying involves sexual harassment or physical aggression or with a weapon.