«It is just something kids do. It doesn’t mean anything.»
All victims of bullying have heard a variant of this frase.
Yes, of course it is. It’s just a little game kids play with each other. If you carry scars from the abuse you suffered for years, decades – the rest of your life – you are the problem.
Isn’t it so?
Instead of redusing «bullying» to just a «game», let us start referring to it for what it really is:
Harassment. Assault. Abuse.
Why are we so compelled to soften the blow of these words? Rather than acknowledging the behaviour for what it is, we have a need to reduce it to something «harmless».
Probably because so many of us have witnessed it, and not intervened, or participated in the bullying ourselves. To soothe our own concience, we reduce the abuse to something harmless (in the minds of the non-bullied people).
I realise it is difficult for people to understand a situation they have never experienced. But when people come forward with stories of how they are struggling with PTSD, anxiety, low self esteem, anger issues and substance abuse decades after they got away from their tormentors, it should call for some reflection.
Bullying is not something you just walk away from. Neither when it is happening or later in life.
Kids have to go to school. They have to stay on the school grounds for the entire day from Monday to Friday. They have to be around their abusers. They can’t walk away from the situation.
They are trapped.
All schools have pretty slogans of how they are not tolerating bullying on their premises, and if something is happening you should tell a teacher.
But this is just pretty words. The truth is schools and teachers don’t care. They will allow bullying to happen, and if anything just tell the victim they are too sensitive.
The truth is children, the weakest and most helpless members of our society, stands without any type of protection from harassment and abuse. And society seems totally okay with it.
If you want to know the true values of a society, look at how they treat the most vulnerable. Are they being listened to? Are their well being truly the concern of the people in power?
Or do they just laugh it away and make excuses when children are being harassed and abused by their peers?
If it was an adult that was subjected to such abuse, it would be taken to court. The abusers would be named and shamed. But because the victim is a child, it is of no concern. The little weirdo probably deserves it as well.