Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J. Journal - Bullying

This post is for the letter J in the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2011. See link in sidebar.

Don't underestimate the importance of keeping a journal as soon as you suspect you may be the target of a bully.

Expect all your allegations to be denied vehemently, for your character and conduct to be called into question, for everything you say to be twisted and manipulated to make it appear you are the bully and are victimizing the actual bully. Bullies are devious, malicious, undermining and not to be trusted to act like ordinary people.

You need hard evidence of the many seemingly insignificant events, comments and actions. Each may appear trivial on its own, but in an investigation there needs to be evidence of the pattern of persistent, repeated comments and events to see the big picture.

Sometimes it can seem that you're being crushed by the need to gather evidence.
For some serial bullying offenders evidence of their abuse of different targets may go back many, many years. Each target may have felt that what happened could have been a one off occurrence and didn't warrant a formal complaint, or has been encouraged not to make a formal complaint because the offender is being protected by an accomplice.  A complaint may bring disrepute on the organisation - think of all the organisations who cover up for bullies and sexual predators for fear of ruining their good reputation. Go above them and ensure it is on record - it's not easy, and you may need support to do this. When everything is accumulated, a very different picture emerges, the person will be seen to be sneaky, vile serial offender.

Some messages make
you feel dreadful
Keep ALL emails, text messages and voice mail - especially when it is so underhanded and vicious it makes you want to vomit and get rid of it from your life immediately. Unfortunately a lot of evidence is removed by the target because they feel so sickened and disgusted by the comments.

Keep everything off site as you can expect your personal effects to be gone through and tampered with, removed or 'doctored'. Remember you're not dealing with someone with the same moral values as you might expect in a normal situation. A normal person doesn't need to bully others.

The bully is two-faced and will attempt to play one person or group off against another, they are amazingly good at this, and you may question how someone you thought was perceptive has been conned by such a sly snake.

In your journal, keep note of comments, dates, times and all instances of bullying. If possible have others verify your entries; although this is not essential, it can add weight to your case.

You will need to gather evidence (I can't emphasise this enough) talk about what is happening with people you trust, see if they've observed or experienced untoward events, if they have, encourage them to report these to any investigation. Even then it may not be enough.

It's helpful to have the support of strong people around you,
who are prepared to stand tall.
Here tomorrow: Known triggers

There are many outstanding resources on line. A couple I find useful are Bullying. No way! an Australian resource for teachers and students, and a UK site Bully On Line. This is in no way an exhaustive list, and each country will no doubt have equally good or more relevant websites. If you're being bullied please seek advice from a professional health care practitioner experienced in this area.

Click here to find out how to do a hyperlink signature

Over at jumpingaground I'm spending the month Drabbling using alliteration, mostly with an environmental theme.


mshatch said...

very interesting post.

Karen Peterson said...

Keeping good records is SO important, regardless of how unpleasant it might be. Good tips!

sue said...

mshatch, thankyou
Karen, thanks, too many people are so repulsed by the comments they delete them, so have no evidence.

doreen said...

Evidence is key. This is an awsome post and I am going to share it. Thanks for writing.

sue said...

Doreen, thankyou so much. I hope these posts assist someone, somewhere.