What is bullying?

"Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over a
nother person. Some of the ways they bully other people are by: calling them names, saying or writing nasty things about them, leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, threatening them, making them feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging their things, hitting or kicking them, or making them do things they don't want to do."

Bullying amoungst Youths

Background- As a group we have decided to target bullying. Instead of aiming to help the victim, we have decided to target the bully and find out why they bully, bullies and to help raise awareness on the issue and to help stop it. We will be targetting bullies who are teenagers and are in school.

Why people should support you- Teenagers have many different influences on their behaviour. From research I have realised that teachers and parents are a great influence on teenagers as they develop into adults. Since bullying is a problem that troubles many people, some bullies may not realise that they are actually causing bullying, this is why as a group we need the help from parents and teachers to help support us as they can make a big difference themselves. Hopefully with their help this will help us to prevent the issue of bullying!

Internet Research on Bullying!

Key Facts

c) NSPCC Bullying Statistics (Web Link)

d) From the statistics relating to the (10-14) age group, I've drawn a few conclusions and found areas in which I aim to look into more closely.

Firstly "30% of children did not tell anyone that they had been bullied." This percentage tells me that 30% of bullies aren't being being revealed and as a result the bulling will continue if they are not exposed and counselled.

In oder to make a change I will speak to students in confidence and find the reason why they choose not to reveal that they're being bullied. Courage is something that I believe is very importsnt it's also something that youth's might lack. Some bullies are un aware of their actions so havimg them know the affect of thier ctions should also help.

Research with 11 to 19 year olds found that 1 in 5 young people "(20%) had experienced bullying or threats via e-mail, internet chatroom or text message" These stats show me that there will be a great challenge in this campaign as to how to target 'internet bullies'. Targetting internet bullies will be difficult because we will not know whom exactly to target. However teaching youths how to protect themselves on the internet will be vital.

ZenaBlandMDX 05:48, March 11, 2011 (UTC)

How could Change Happen?

a) Which individuals and organisation could effect change?

Parents play a big part in their Childs life, and the kids look up to them. Everything starts at home whether it is charity, kindness, kids learn from their parents and it’s up to their parents to set an example to their children. So, that why I think it should start with the parents. Also the school they could raise awareness by having each tutor group to discuss bullying amongst each other either in assembly or in their classes and talk to the kids about different types of bullying because maybe the kids who are bullying don’t know they are actually bullying other kids.

b) How can you put pressure on them?

We could give out leaflets to parents when they come to collect their kids and maybe they would realise and observe if their child is the bully or is being bullied. We are targeting bullies so it would be clear to give out some sort of characteristics of what a bullying might do or say, bullying could be of any form whether it is religiously, physically or emotionally or racially, also the values the kid is brought up with counts. Am sure parents would realise a change in their child and it would make them investigate it.

--HawaFarahMDX 20:50, May 6, 2011 (UTC)

The different types of bullying for the powerpoint presentation for the school presentation:

Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying is orally being offensive to someone, this includes name calling for various reasons such as someone’s background, religion, race, image e.g. making negative remarks about someone’s appearance.

Physical Bullying

This is any type of harmful contact; physical bullying can also be taking someone’s items without consent and destroying someone’s property.

Social Bullying

This is when an individual or group try to isolate someone from a group, when someone spreads malicious rumours about someone; it can also be when an individual pokes fun ay someone in the presence of others.

Psychological/Mentally Bullying

When an individual feels stalked or is stalked and it can also be when an individual is being intimidate

Cyber Bullying With the advance of technology thus came cyber bullying, this is when, this type of bullying can be in social sites, chatrooms, through SMS (Texts) and email. Although it is virtual cyber bullying is still very common.

There aree photos in the original cant get them up on wikia but they will be on presentation for the school assembly presentation

AdedeborahigeMDX 00:34, March 8, 2011 (UTC)

Bullying Key Facts

NSPCC Reasearch Briefing [click here]

What is Bullying? 'Bullying' refers to physical or psychological chastisement or intimidation. Bullying is particularly prevalent in schools, where bullying thrives because of a variety of factors, such as immaturity and gang culture.

The fear and psychological damage bullying may cause in a child victim was historically treated with relative disregard, but in the last twenty years, it has been recognised as a very serious problem. In the worst cases, it has led to severe depression and even suicide.

Bullying is also recognised as leading to increased truancy rates and therefore has an important impact on education.


Bullying has always occurred in UK schools. Bullying seems to occur whenever groups of children are brought together and left without adequate supervision.

Until the late 1980s, bullying was not a major issue of public concern. Although people were aware of it happened, it appeared to be treated as inevitable.

As bullying only infrequently manifests itself in serious physical abuse, it is not usually covered by the criminal law of assault. In addition, the fear engendered into the victims of bullying and the social stigmatisation that follows often makes victims unwilling to bring attention to such incidents.

However, attitudes have changed, partly because of the activities of charities such as Childline, and today bullying is treated as an extremely serious issue. Charities and Government agencies are now doing more research and gaining an understanding of the impact of bullying.

In 1999, it became a legal requirement for schools to have some form of anti-bullying policy. In November 2003, the Department for Education and Skills published the 'Anti Bullying Charter for Action', which it encourages schools and children to sign. The change in perspective to focus on the child victim has led to the creation of a support network for victims of bullying and a reduction in the stigma once attached to being the victim of bullying.

Furthermore, in March 2005, the first independent Children's Commissioner was appointed with the role of promoting awareness of issues affecting young people, including bullying.

(Source - Article 'Bullying at school', 2005)



1 in 2 students experience occasional bullying during any school term.

1 in 4 students in primary school are bullied more than once or twice at least in any term (so they are more than twice as likely to be bullied as those in secondary schools)

1 in 10 in secondary school are bullied more than once or twice at least in any term (some research says one third of secondary students are bullied during the course of the school year)

1 in 10 primary aged students are persistently and frequently bullied - possibly every day.

Between 15 and 25 children every year commit suicide because they are being bullied (there may be more we don't know about, and many more than this attempt it because bullying has made them so unhappy.

More than a quarter of students get threats of violence whilst at school, and half of these threats have been carried out.

Attacks on boys accounts for 75% of these incidents.

Around 10% of children have missed school because of the violence.

Up to 40% of secondary school students feel that their teachers are unaware of the bullying which goes on.

About 17% of calls to ChildLine are about bullying. For five years running it's been the most common reason people call.

More 12 year olds call ChildLine about bullying than any other age group.

(Source [[here]])

In 2003 67 per cent of all schools had a separate anti-bullying policy. Over half of primary and secondary school pupils (51 per cent and per cent, respectively) thought that bullying was a 'big problem' or 'quite a problem' in their school. However, over 60 per cent of pupils thought their school was 'very good' or 'quite good' at dealing with bullying. Studies claim that at least 16 children commit suicide as a direct result of bullying in the UK every year.

(Source - Summary report of DFES 2003 - 'Tackling bullying' and DFES anti bullying pack for schools, 2003) (Source: 'Bullycide, Death at playtime' Neil Marr and Tim Field, 2001)

School truancy is a common outcome of bullying. Bullied children prefer to risk getting caught bunking off school than to get caught by the bullies.

Around 4% of UK children truant persistently, according to data from a Youth Cohort Study, whilst around half of all children truant at some time, according to the 2003 truancy statistics for England.

There are many causes of truancy ranging from violent antisocial behaviour, to boredom and disaffection, to escaping daily bullying which schools are failing to deal with. Not everyone is academically minded, and academic qualifications are one of the poorest indicators of potential. Academic qualifications do, though, provide lots of statistics that can be published in league tables to show voters how successful education policy is.

(Source - [click here])

An anonymous survey of 2,437 students in six middle schools identified 898 students who had been bullied, including 25% who had not told anyone that they were bullied and 40% who had not told an adult about their victimization. We investigated chronicity and type of bullying, school climate, familial, demographic, and attitudinal factors that influenced victim reporting to anyone versus no one, to adults versus no one, and to adults versus peers. Logistic regression analyses indicated

that reporting increased with the chronicity of victimization. Reporting was generally more frequent among girls than boys, and among lower grade levels. Students who perceived the school climate to be tolerant of

bullying, and students who described their parents as using coercive discipline were less likely to report being bullied. Implications for improving victim reporting of bullying are discussed.

(Source - Williams, F., & Cornell, D. (2006). Student willingness to seek help for threats of violence. Journal of School Violence, 5, 35-49)

Recent News Reports

'The Truth About Bullying'

'Bullying on the School Bus'

'Bullies Bruise Brains, Not Just Egos'

JosephwhitfieldMDX 14:24, March 19, 2011 (UTC)

Why is the issue pressing now?

It is mandotory for every child in the UK to attend school from the ages of 5 upto 16. This a long time which effects everyone, with every person in the country having to go through this stage of their life it is vital that it is as enjoyable and influential as possible.

31% of children experienced bullying by their peers during childhood, a further 7% were discriminated against and 14% were made to feel different or 'like an outsider'. 43% experienced at least one of these things during childhood. Cawson, P. et al. (2000) Child maltreatment in the United Kingdom: a study of the prevalence of child abuse and neglect. London: NSPCC. p.26.

Growing up is difficult at the best of times for most young people so it is of the upmost importance that it be at a minimum level of disruptance. School is one of the most important stages of a persons life as it helps them to develop skills in social situations. Bullying is a major disruptiuon of this learning and often effects the victims later on in life. With evermore added pressures of children today, we as a group find it essential that bullying is eradicated from schools and childrens lives altogether.

Why do you want to take action on this issue?

•Children who were abused or neglected by their parents were consistently more likely than others to experience bullying, discrimination, or being made to feel different by their peers. For example, 70% of those who were sexually abused by parents were also bullied by other children. 60% of those who were physically abused by parents, and 58% of those who experienced absence of physical care, also reported being bullied. Cawson, P. (2002) Child maltreatment in the family: the experience of a national sample of young people. London: NSPCC. p.61-62.

School is an environment which is supposed to be peaceful and safe. These statistics show that children who are mis-treated or neglected are far more likely to be victims of bullying. Although by tackling this issue we may not be able to change events that occure in the domestic home, we can at least try to make school a place of joy and happiness. It is not only the victims that we want to support but the bullies themselves aswell. We feel that not enough work and time is put into finding the cause of the bullying and bullies are usual given punishments which will not change their actions. As a group we think it is crucial that children are allowed to develop and grow in a safe, secure and peaceful environment.

--Sam Wood MDX 14:41, March 21, 2011 (UTC)

What is bullying?

Bullying can take many forms.

  • Mental abuse: name-calling (the most common form of bullying), lying, spreading rumours, making threats and excluding someone socially.
   * Physical abuse: hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving.
   * Stealing or damaging another child's property.

How common is bullying?

Between 10 and 15 per cent of pupils are bullied at least once a week, and 50 per cent of pupils will experience bullying at some point, according to Australian research.

Boys are more likely to be involved than girls. Types of bullying

How your child is bullied depends on who’s doing the bullying.

For example:

   * by girls in your child’s age group: name-calling, taking friends away or sending abusive text messages
   * by boys in your child’s age group: likely to physical bullying, including pushing and hurting your child physically
   * by teachers or older family members: shouting, picking on your child, making fun of them or putting your child down in front of other people.

Signs of bullying

Your child may not tell you that he's being bullied, but there are some common signs.

   * Physical: cuts, bruises, torn clothes.
   * 'Losing' dinner money or possessions.
   * Mood changes: becoming quiet and withdrawn, being aggressive with siblings, or being generally bad-tempered.
   * Insomnia or anxiety.
   * Changes in friendships and deterioration in schoolwork.
   * If your child doesn't want to leave the house or finds reasons not to go to school.

Bullying and ADHD

Children with ADHD are often targets for bullies because they are ‘different’.

Your child may be dreamy or forgetful, lose things easily, and is physically likely to be clumsier. Peers and teachers may accuse your child of being stupid. Why do children bully?

Many bullies have problems at home and feel they don’t fit in.

They’re scared of getting picked on, so they pick on someone else before anyone can do it to them.

Often they dislike themselves and take it out on someone else. Impact of bullying If your child is bullied

If your child is bullied, he may lose confidence to the point where he doesn’t want leave the house. Schoolwork can also suffer because he’s nervous at school.

It may even reach the stage where your child has suicidal thoughts. If your child is a bully

If your child hurts other children, he may get into trouble:

   * at school – warnings, detention or even exclusion
   * with the police – if your child is over the age of 10 and demands money or is violent.

What to do if your child is being bullied

The first step is to try to get your child to tell you what’s been happening at school.

These questions are a good way to encourage your child to talk about his day.

   * What did you enjoy today?
   * What didn’t you enjoy?
   * Who did you play with?
   * What did you do at lunchtime and break-time?
   * Are you looking forward to going to school tomorrow?

If the answers show your child is being bullied:

   * reassure your child that he's done the right thing in telling you
   * ask him to report any future problems to you or the teacher
   * see the school (see below)
   * keep a diary of what’s happening
   * invite other children home to help strengthen friendships
   * take your child to the GP so your child can receive further advice, counselling or treatment.

You can ask for a transfer to another school, but your child may miss his friends and have difficulties settling into the new school. A move may also affect exams. Tips for children who are being bullied

   * Tell your parents, another family member or your teacher.
   * Don’t hit back because you’ll get hurt or in trouble.
   * Stay in safe areas at break-time, sit near the driver on a bus or walk with others on the way home.
   * You’re probably not the only one being bullied, so make friends with someone else who looks lonely.
   * Avoid eye contact with bullies and stay casual so they can’t see they’re upsetting you – they’ll get bored and stop. If you stand up tall and look confident, they’re less likely to pick on you.
   * If friends ignore you, tackle them one at a time and ask why.

What to do if your child is a bully

Your child may deny bullying, but parents don’t tend to step in unless the situation is bad.

The school will check first to see if it’s true. Go through the school bullying policy with your child and make sure your child knows you love them, but not their behaviour. For younger children

   * Ask your child why he's doing it – there may be a ringleader and your child is going along with it.
   * Explain it’s unkind and not fun.
   * Get your child to realise how the victim feels by reminding your child of past hurts.
   * Ask the school to supervise your child.

For older children

   * Explain that bullying can cause severe unhappiness and can even lead to a self-harm attempt – does your child want to be responsible for someone becoming ill and unhappy?
   * Ask how your child would feel in the victim’s shoes and what he would want done.
   * Teach your child how to resolve problems without violence.

Getting help From the school

Talk to the class teacher. Ask how your child is getting on with others, raise issues of conflict, and ask what’s the best way to sort it out.

For older children, say where the bullying’s been happening so bullies can be caught without your child being seen as a tell-tale.

If it continues, write to the teacher and ask for the letter to go on your child’s file with an action plan of how the school will deal with bullying.

If that doesn’t help, ask to see the headteacher.

If it still doesn’t help, write to the chair of governors. Check with parents of other children to see if they’re being bullied, too. Seeking legal advice

If you keep your child off school, you can be prosecuted, so talk to your LEA welfare education officer to explain the situation.

Legal advice should be the last resort. In the first instance, see a solicitor for 30 minutes of free advice to see if you should take it further.

You will need evidence of physical and mental harm, medical reports and a copy of any school letters. The solicitor will:

   * review your papers
   * apply for funding (it takes a month to decide)
   * see a barrister, who will say if you have a case and who is liable.

Court means evidence, a summons at county court and witness statements, and will make your child relive his ordeal in public. Bullying off school premises

Schools are not liable for bullying outside school premises, including on the school bus.

If the bullying is outside school, talk to the parents of the other children involved.

If a relative is bullying your child, contact the NSPCC for advice. Support groups

   * Anti-bullying campaign helpline: 020 7378 1446.
   * Bullying UK.
   * Childline.
   * Beat Bullying.
   * Kidscape.
   * Samaritans.

Personal qualities that bullies find irresistible

Personal qualities that bullies find irresistible

Targets of bullying usually have these qualities:

   * popularity (this stimulates jealousy in the less-than-popular bully)
   * competence (this stimulates envy in the less-than-competent bully)
   * intelligence and intellect
   * honesty and integrity (which bullies despise)
   * you're trustworthy, trusting, conscientious, loyal and dependable
   * a well-developed integrity which you're unwilling to compromise
   * you're always willing to go that extra mile and expect others to do the same
   * successful, tenacious, determined, courageous, having fortitude
   * a sense of humour, including displays of quick-wittedness
   * imaginative, creative, innovative
   * idealistic, optimistic, always working for improvement and betterment of self, family, the employer, and the world
   * ability to master new skills
   * ability to think long term and to see the bigger picture
   * sensitivity (this is a constellation of values to be cherished including empathy, concern for others, respect, tolerance etc)
   * slow to anger
   * helpful, always willing to share knowledge and experience
   * giving and selfless
   * difficulty saying no
   * diligent, industrious
   * tolerant
   * strong sense of honour
   * irrepressible, wanting to tackle and correct injustice wherever you see it
   * an inability to value oneself whilst attributing greater importance and validity to other people's opinions of oneself (eg through tests, exams, appraisals, manager's feedback, etc)
   * low propensity to violence (ie you prefer to resolve conflict through dialogue rather than through violence or legal action)
   * a strong forgiving streak (which the bully exploits and manipulates to dissuade you from taking grievance and legal action)
   * a desire to always think well of others
   * being incorruptible, having high moral standards which you are unwilling to compromise
   * being unwilling to lower standards
   * a strong well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise or abandon
   * high expectations of those in authority and a dislike of incompetent people in positions of power who abuse power
   * a tendency to self-deprecation, indecisiveness, deference and approval seeking
   * low assertiveness
   * a need to feel valued
   * quick to apologise when accused, even if not guilty (this is a useful technique for defusing an aggressive customer or potential road rage incident)
   * perfectionism
   * higher-than-average levels of dependency, naivety and guilt
   * a strong sense of fair play and a desire to always be reasonable
   * high coping skills under stress, especially when the injury to health becomes apparent
   * a tendency to internalise anger rather than express it

--HawaFarahMDX 12:41, April 4, 2011 (UTC)

                          In Depth Interview 

This is an in-depth interview conducted by Otonye Young-Harry. The interview participant is 43 year old Marina Eves. Marina has 4 sisters and 1 brother, her brother and three of her sisters are older and one is younger. Marina also has 4children, two boys, aged 9 and 10 and two girls aged 20 and 21. She experienced bullying at and early age in her life and has agreed to share her reflections and experience in order to help with our campaign: Stop Bullying Amongst Youths.

Otonye: What age range were you when you first noticed that you started getting bullied?

Marina: I was in the last year in junior school when it was at its worst, I must have been around 11.

Otonye: Did you notice that it was just you being singled out or was it you and a group of your friends or…

Marina: No, it was just me.

Otonye: You have four sisters, were any of them in the same school as you at the time?

Marina: My younger sister yeah, she was in the year below me.

Otonye: As she was your younger sister did you find that there was anything she could do?

Marina: No she couldn’t no, I don’t think she was even aware of it.

Otonye:What about teachers? Did they help at all?

Marina: No they weren’t… I wasn’t the sort of person that could go up to teachers and talk to them about anything like that... I didn’t talk to them.

Otonye: What about your parents? Did you talk to them?

Marina: No but I think they were sort of aware of it but nothing was done about it, they didn’t really do anything

Otonye: So there were never any meetings with teachers? Anything like that?

Marina: I meant I wasn’t really the sort of person that would open up and talk to anyone about it. I was really introverted and insecure so I wouldn’t have erm… opened up and had any long conversations with anyone about it.

Otonye: A lot of things have changed now so i'm not too sure what it was like for you at school but were there meetings after school and clubs like art club, for example, that you could join?

Marina: Well I joined the gymnastics club, there were parent and teacher evenings. I know that the teachers were concerned because I was very quiet at school but they didn’t really.. I don’t know… I can’t remember if I was even really in on any of the parent’s evenings.

Otonye: So even though your older sisters had left school by then were they aware of it? Did you try and talk to them about it?

Marina: Not until I was older

Otonye: Yeh… did you talk to anyone about it?

Marina: No, there was no-one I felt to confide in.

Otonye: And during that time when you were being bullied did you find that you sort your own comfort, did you find that you had your own hobbies and things that you would like to do alone and therefore was happy? Or did you find that you were sad during this period in your life?

Marina: No I was sad, and I didn’t really go out and play that much, I stayed indoors a lot of the time and I listened to music and I done drawing but I didn’t really go out

Otonye: The people that bullied you in school, were they people that you found you could single out and try and avoid or was it everyone in your age group?

Marina: No it was specific people, and they encouraged other people but those other people wouldn’t single me out. It was only a group of three or four children that would single me out, all girls.

Otonye: So if you had to categorise these girls would you say that they were popular? Or that they were intimidating or…?

Marina: Well to me they were popular and that’s why they could encourage other people to join in with the bullying, and to me they were very intimidating

Otonye: Do you think there may have been a reason that they were popular?

Marina: I don’t know, I was consumed with what was happening with me. So I’m not too sure how other people saw them. I don’t think they really did this kind of thing to other people. I do know that there were two occasions where they did single out other people. One occasion was that we had a girl come to our school temporarily and she was from a travelling family, what was once called gypsies. She came to our school for 4 months and they singled her out. And because they singled her out, we became friends, me and the girl and we sort each others company. She was a lot stronger than I was, I think it might be because she had experienced it before and had become used to it. And it was always different people for her, the people weren’t constant.

Otonye: Oh ok, and you mentioned there were two?

Marina: And the other person was a boy who had a handicap, not a severe handicap but he had one arm that hung limp at his side.

Otonye: Ok so it seems that the two other people you’ve mentioned. You’ve mentioned them in a way that suggests these differences/characteristics may be a reason they were bullied, for example, the boy had a handicap and the girl was a traveller, they were both slightly different to these girls. Do you think that they feel threatened by someone who is different to them which led them to target these people? And if so, what do you think was different about you that made them bully you?

Marina: I don’t think they saw them as an easy target, just because they didn’t act hostile towards these people all the time. With me I was extremely bothered by it, they knew I was bothered by it, with the boy who had the handicap, he had always lived with that so he was used to certain treatment. I was always really quiet at school, I didn’t like school, as a child I was overweight. And I think those things combined made me an easy target. I think I made myself an easy target; I made it easy for them.

Otonye: You’ve said that you think you made yourself an easy target so reflecting on it now is there a part of you now that sees you being bullied as your fault?

Marina: No I don’t. I think it’s very sad. I find it sad that someone who is insecure or sensitive, someone who is different or quiet can be targeted and singled out in such a hostile, attacking way. Or any other person for that matter. I don’t think it’s the fault of the person who gets bullied, I think it’s the fault of the person who does the bullying. I think for the bully, it’s sad in a way because they must need to feel that power and superiority, therefore these bullies may have an insecurity themselves.

Otonye: So, if your thoughts about bullies are that they may have their own insecurities, if you saw one of the people that bullied you, would you still feel a certain way about them?

Marina: Yes definitely, time hasn’t changed that at all. I still wouldn’t feel equal to them. And it has effected how I am with any authority figure. When working, a boss anything like that… I never see myself on the same level as them

Otonye: Obviously now we are talking about how it’s affected you in later life. Do you think it’s affected your ability to be confident or speak your mind?

Marina: I can speak my own mind, I an opinionated but it has affected me. I don’t have a large group of friends. I’m very select and it takes a lot for people to break into my circle. The people I class as a friend I can go ages without talking to them but they know me and they know that I won’t always feel the need to seek their company.

Otonye: Do you think being bullied in earlier life has affected the way you see yourself now?

Marina: Yes definitely. I’m still a very insecure person. That’s why I tend to seek my own company. I’m not a confident person at all that’s definitely followed me through life.

Otonye: You have four children of your own, two of which are still in school, now as someone who has experienced bullying you have first hand knowledge of how it can be, have you noticed that any of your children may have been experiencing this?

Marina: I have a son Shaye (10years old), who is very sensitive, he’s not insecure, he is quite a confident child but he is very sensitive and he isn’t an aggressive child. He’s very mld mannered, tame and caring. There are children that single him out and he does get bothered by things that are said to him which aren’t bullying but its teasing and he will be affected by the teasing. It isn’t something that I feel I should approach the school on because he’ll come and talk to me and I’ll try and talk him through it and make him feel better about himself. If it ever did get to the stage where he was bothered by it then I would do everything in my power to get to a good conclusion. If that included meeting with the parents of the children then that is something that I would do.

Otonye: You said earlier on that you found it hard to talk to your parents about it, is that because you didn’t feel you could?

Marina: Partly it was because I liked to keep myself to myself but I also didn’t want disapproval from my parents, it wasn’t something that we did, we didn’t overly talk about feelings and things like that. I lived in a house with 5 other children so it was always really busy, my parents both worked shift work and they knew that I was an insecure child but they didn’t really notice too deeply.

Otonye: Do you think if they approached you more you would have spoke to them?

Marina: I think I would have done yes, I’m always aware when something isn’t right with my children and that will make me ask them and approach them till they felt they could come to me. It is time-consuming, it isn’t something you can do in 5 minutes so I don’t really think I hold against them that my parents didn’t do it for me. It isn’t something my children can figure out on their own when they have something on their minds or affecting them and I think this is what happened to me, it became a lot more. Constantly worrying about school, what will happen. Sometimes it would be a good day and they’d decide to be my friends and sometimes it wouldn’t be a good day and they wouldn’t be my friends, there was never a happy balance.

Otonye: When was it that you first noticed things started to change? Was there a concrete episode that sticks in your mind or was it gradual?

Marina: Yeah there are two specific things that happened in my mind. One of the things was at the gym club that I joined. I wasn’t the only member of my family that was in the gym club, my younger sister was and my older sister was, she was 5 yrs older. Erm, it wasn’t very late probably around 6 or 7 but it was dark. I needed to go to the toilet and while I was in there, I’m not sure if they were already in there or if they followed me in there but they switched the lights off and they held the door so I couldn’t get out, and it was pitch black. I was terrified of the dark, always had been, and I screamed and screamed and screamed and I honestly was hysterical. Then the teachers came running but by that time they were gone but I was so hysterical I hadn’t moved.

Otonye: And after the teachers came, did you tell them what happened at that time? And who it was?

Marina: Well like I said I was hysterical, the teachers had to call my parents to come and get me but as far as what happened… I know that the next day I was called into the head teacher’s office but again, he was an authority figure so I found it difficult to talk to him. What I said exactly I can’t remember. No further action was taken but I cant remember if I told them anything so that may be why.

Otonye: You said there were two events?

Marina: Erm… yeh I’m not too sure why this happened but I was followed home from school one day. I think that after all this time and because it effected me so much I think the event has been exaggerated in my mind because now I remember it as the whole class following me home calling me names and taunting me. But whether it was the whole class or a handful of children but I remember it as the whole class. But it was definitely more than just the three girls

Otonye: And how did this affect you in later school years?

Marina: Well I cried almost everyday before school until I was about 14/15. I hated school, I didn’t know anybody and I really struggled with that and I struggled to get friends. Eventually there were about three people that were my friends and remained my friends all through school. I didn’t really socialise outside of school or go out much, In my last year of senior school I would look after my friends horse with her, that was the most socialising I ever done.

Otonye: And why do you think that is?

Marina: Well mainly I think it’s because I was very wary about people who said they wanted to be my friends. Because the three girls that bullied me said they would want to be friends and then would bully me the next day. I really struggled with that so I eventually found it easier to be on my own than be put in that position.

Otonye: Because the friendship with these bullies was unstable do you think it’s made you less trusting?

Marina: Erm I don’t think it’s given me trust issues but I definitely don’t like deception and I don’t like dishonesty.

Otonye: If you had to say how much you being bullied has affected your later life, how much do you think it has?

I think it’s affected me a lot, it’s affected my perception of friends, and I only have select friends. And a lot of the friends I have are people that have persisted in wanting to be my friend and that’s what’s made me trust them. I don’t open up easily to friendships at all, even relationships. I definitely think my perception has been the most effected.

Otonye: Even though your perception has been affected would you still say that you’re happy with your life and how you lead your life now?

Marina: Yeah I am very happy yes. I don’t know if that’s because I’m used to the way I am now but I am very happy.

Otonye: Now that your older and can take a mature look back, do you think there’s anything you could have done differently? Anything that you think you could have changed that you didn’t?

Marina: I think the only thing I could have done and would have loved is not being so bothered by if the girls did or didn’t like me. That’s where my unhappiness came from because it was really confusing. I really wanted them to like me and they didn’t and they were really fickle with their friendship so yeah I just wish I wasn’t so effected and didn’t allow them to get to me so much

Otonye: Ok, if you had one close friend or a group of close friends, do you think you would have still been as bothered or affected as you were?

Marina: I think a group of friends could have changed that and can change that but I do think a lot of it is internal. If your constantly worrying about if people like you, if your doing things right, dressing right, even talking right. But if you have a good group of friends then you can get confidence from them if they are good friends.

Otonye: This campaign is obviously trying to stop bullying amongst youths and in youth culture. When it comes to someone being bullied, as you know, they do find it hard to approach people, they do become confused and they do find it difficult to deal with alone so what this campaign is trying to achieve is to stop bullying before it happens by targeting the person who does the bullying. Do you think there is anything you could recommend for this campaign to do, looking back on your own experiences and perception of bullying?

Marina: Erm… I’m not sure, that’s a difficult one. I mean it’s hard for me because I was the one that was bullied. I think the only thing I can say is that if it was one of my children I think it would be important to explain how someone feels when they get bullied and how deeply it can hurt someone. I’d want to know what they felt like when they bullied e.g. power, so I think that would be somewhere to start. Just by talking to them, but I think it would have to be a certain type of person who spoke to them, I doubt they would listen to authority or respond well to authority so I think maybe mentoring may work, an older child that they can trust.

Otonye: So to stop bullying among youths do you think it would be better to target the bully and try and make them understand or better to help the victim of bullying?

Marina: Well I think they are two different things so I don’t think I’d be able to say one other another. I think the bully needs help understanding with their understanding, maybe their ego and the victim needs help with their confidence and support. I think they both need help but different types of help.

Otonye: Which method do you think would be the most effective when stopping bullying?

Marina: I think Erm, helping the bully understand what kind of effect they are having. I think to stop bullying to target the bully is the way to go because the bully would still go on to bully other people even if you helped one victim.

--Otonye Young-Harry MDX 22:27, April 29, 2011 (UTC)