Bullying and vilification are two very powerful and destructive forms of abuse.
Bullying, the use of force, threat or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others, is something we can all help eliminate.
Be a leader, not a bystander
If you see behaviour that is not right, stand up and take action. You don’t fight the person or abuse them back – simply support the person who is being bullied and let the bully know their behaviour is unacceptable.
Bullying can affect a person’s mental health and wellbeing. It is also associated with low self-esteem, and can contribute to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It can also lead to feelings of helplessness and being suicidal.
Bystanders who watch, laugh or encourage bullying behaviour are just as much to blame as the person carrying out the bullying.
Have you stood by while someone was being continually harassed about their appearance or something else? Has a joke gone too far? Did you feel that it was a bit harsh and you should have said something?
You can tell the person or people who started the ‘jokes’ that they have run their course. If this doesn’t work you can have a quick chat with the coach or team captain, talk with the CEO or even the police if it’s a really desperate situation. Don’t be a bystander, be a leader.
Be aware of what you say!
Vilification doesn’t need to necessarily offend the person who it is intended for. If it’s on social media or there are other people who are in earshot of what is being said then they too could be offended by certain comments.
Comments which involve another person’s race, religion, colour, descent, nationality, gender, sexuality, marital status, disability or HIV / Aids status can have a massive impact on someone’s state of mind.