The Undeniable Truth About “Bullycide”

The Undeniable Truth about “Bullycide”

by: Olivia Clayton

stopbnow

As teenagers grow up, they experience changes like weight, hormonal imbalance, voice pitch, acne and more. With these types of changes, insecurities may grow but just think of the added stress caused if a bully points out these changes. Many parents still consider bullying as a harmless part of growing up. True enough, people may not like how you dress, who you like, or even where you are from but bullying does not have to be a part of the maturing process. Awareness and prevention has become more effective as the world becomes more aware of the consequences of bullying.

Before the World Wide Web, texting and Facebook, bullying was only a student spreading rumors, name-calling, stealing lunch money, or just picking fights. Sadly, all those things continue to happen but now technology has aided the way a bully emotionally abuses their victims. Now the term “cyber bullying”, one of the more common types of bully, refers to teens being bullied via social media websites like Facebook or Twitter by the posting of photos or rumors that can be seen by anyone who has access to a computer.

cyberbully

The ways to bully someone may have changed but the signs of a bullied teen still correlate to signs of depression or withdrawal. Signs of a bullied or troubled teen can be emotional or physical coupled with behavioral changes. Emotional signs are most common with sudden feelings of hopelessness or decreased self-esteem. Some troubled teens use these signs as a last cry for help from anyone who cares by talking about death or express how much better things would be without them. Physical signs are easier to detect first because they are visible. Signs like unexplained bruises or changes in eating patterns. Behavioral changes will always confirm whether a child is considering suicide or becoming depressed. As a child slips into a state of depression they may show lack of interest in favorite activities, avoid any social situation, or begin to act out with drugs or alcohol (stopbullying.gov). The victims of bullying need help but so do the bullies victimizing them. There are several ways to determine whether your child has become a bully: an increase in aggressiveness, worry of reputation and popularity, and unwillingness to accept responsibility for their own actions (stopbullying.gov). Awareness of your child’s behavior and emotional state is the first step in preventing “bullycide”.

nc-passes-teacher-anti-bullying-laws

No matter what age, one can help prevent bullying. Students who witness bullying and do not report it are just as guilty as the bullies. The best thing is not to engage into the bullying because giving the bully an audience will give them the false sense that what they are doing is right. As an individual it is your decision to set a good example or befriend the victim showing them that someone cares and notices. As a teacher, one is should be available to the student if they are having troubles because open communication can save a student from “bullycide”. With a sense that an adult is willing to help, a victim may come sooner rather than later to report bullying. This also gives peers who may not be victims the option to alert a teacher if something is happened to another student. Parents, just as teachers, should have an open line of communication with their teens. Providing confidence that the bullying is not their fault will reassure a teen that the problem is not with them but with the bully. If the bullying is occurring at school, a parent should contact the administrators to let them know to keep an eye on their student and the bully. As peers, teachers and parents we have the power to save a victim of bullying as well as their bully if we are aware and proactive with bully prevention.

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With the media displaying how commonly bullying affects teens, awareness increases. Watching for the signs and openly communicating with teens about the changes that will begin to occur will help. Providing teens with the confidence that they weight change, hormonal urges or acne are all normal stages of growing up, you take away the power of the bully. If they are also aware that there are programs and help for them, the statistics of “bullycide” will begin to fall. “Bullycide” has begun to make its mark on the world but with the prevention programs and treatments set forth we can make it history.

Help End Cyber Bullying!!

Cyber Bullying1

I hate you!                     You’re ugly!                I’m gonna hurt you!

Have you been a victim of cyber bullying? Are you guilty of hurting someone in this way? Well together, it is time to help end cyber bullying. Some of the more extreme cases of cyber bullying have caused young people to harm themselves to avoid harassment. Others suffer daily from embarrassment and fear from cowardly acts. IT IS NOT OK! CYBER BULLYING IS NEVER OK!  Here are some tips to avoid cyber bullies and help eliminate its effects:

(1)     If you stand by and watch as one person bullies another, you are just as guilty. SAY SOMETHING!!! Tell the person it’s wrong. Tell an adult. Let the person that’s being bullied know that you’re there to talk if necessary. Take action.

(2)     The old saying, “If you cannot say something nice, then don’t say anything at all” holds true. Think about the words you speak or type before you deliver them to avoid being hurtful. Put yourself in the person’s situation. Would you want someone saying anything hurtful to you (no matter how funny it seems)? Keep it positive or keep it moving!

(3)     Avoid sharing so much personal information. The more information a negative person knows about you, the better able they are to continue to follow and harass you. Only those close to you should know certain information.

(4)     IGNORE THEM!!! BLOCK THEM! Bullies need a target. Without a target, a bully’s actions do not matter. It may not seem like it in the beginning, but in time, they will go away.

(5)     Remember that cyber bullying includes activities online, text messaging, and any other methods of mass communication. In any of these areas, only communicate with those that you trust and remember to JUST BE NICE!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

by: Tay Drum

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Did you know that child sexual abuse, rape, and attempted rape are all types of sexual assault? Did you know that popular figures like Mary J. Blige, Oprah Winfrey, Marilyn Manson, and Tyler Perry are all SURVIVORS of sexual abuse? Did you know that by the age of 18, one in every four females and one in every six males will experience some form sexual abuse? More importantly, did you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and sexual assault is very common?

Whether you call it molestation, sexual assault, or rape, you must know that what you experienced was NOT your fault. Some of you may be confused about what you have experienced and even question if what occurred was wrong.

According to trauma experts, child sexual abuse is any interaction between a child or adolescent and an adult or older child in which the perpetrator uses sexual stimulation. Sexual stimulation can involve, but is not limited to, direct physical contact, touching, kissing, fondling, rubbing, oral sex, or penetration of the vagina or anus. Sexual abuse can also involve the perpetrator exposing his or herself, as well as observing, filming, or taking pictures of the child or adolescent removing his or her clothes.

Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. The FBI defines rape as “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Rape happens to people of all ages. However, statutory rape is used to refer to sexual activities in which one person is below the age required to legally consent to the behavior. Date rape, also known as acquaintance rape, occurs when somebody you know uses physical force, drugs (i.e., Roofies) or alcohol, or emotional pressure to make you engage in unwanted sexual activities.

There is a difference between sex and sexual assault, with that difference being consent!!! Sex is consensual when both persons mutually agree to sexual intercourse. However, both individuals must be the age required to legally consent for sex. This age varies by state. When sexual assault occurs there is a lack of consent.

If you have experienced sexual assault:
• Get to a safe place
• Preserve evidence of the attack and do not bathe, shower, urinate, brush your teeth, or your change clothes
• Report the assault to law enforcement authorities
• Get medical attention as soon as possible
• Contact a friend or family member you trust or call the local rape crisis center hotline.
• REMEMBER IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT

If you suspect that a child or adolescent may have experienced sexual abuse, please contact your local child protection agency (see link below).

SPEAK UP. HELP END ABUSE.

Resources

Date Rape- http://www.4collegewomen.org/fact-sheets/date_rape.html
Half of Us (http://www.halfofus.com) -Stories of trauma and distress by teens and celebrities, in
addition to other mental health resources.
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence- http://www.ncdsv.org/
National Child Traumatic Stress Network- http://www.nctsn.org
National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-800-656-HOPE
Notable Survivors- http://www.aswaterspassingby.org/notablesurvivors.html
State Child Abuse Reporting Numbers- https://www.childwelfare.gov/responding/reporting.cfm
Rape, Abuse,& Incest National Network (RAINN)- http://www.rainn.org

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

What do you know about Domestic Violence? Have you been harmed by someone? Do you know someone currently involved in a violent relationship? Here’s your chance to vent, learn, and get help for yourself or someone else. THIS IS A JUDGE FREE ZONE!

 

Violence in a relationship is not always immediately noticeable.  The person may not start off as cruel or forceful. However, after trust is developed, he or she begins to show their true nature.  Domestic violence is not always physical either, which is why many young women miss the signs.  Verbal and mental abuse are as much a domestic violence issue as physical injury.  Here are a few tidbits concerning domestic violence:

 

(1)   Domestic violence occurs in same sex relationships too! Many fail to consider this and think that domestic violence is only between a man and a woman. Don’t be blinded by this misconception.

(2)   Physical violence doesn’t only include a person touching you! Physical violence can also include someone blocking you from leaving, placing other barriers in your way, or simply stalking you altogether.

(3)   Sexual abuse is a form of domestic violence! Even in a relationship, you cannot be forced to do something against your will. Rape and forced sexual activity are common with domestic violence. This also includes inflicted harm to sexual parts of the body.

(4)   Verbal and emotional abuse are equally as harmful as the other forms of violence! Words sometimes hurt worse because the negative effects last longer. Do not accept someone insulting or threatening you, even if he or she claims that the comments were only made in anger. Chances are if you accept the actions, it will only continue.

 

So there you have it ladies; just a little about the broad topic on domestic violence. What are your thoughts?

 

If you have experienced ANY of these issues, PLEASE DO NOT REMAIN ASHAMED.  AS WOMEN AND YOUNG LADIES, WE ARE NOT PERFECT AND HAVE ALL FALLEN VICTIM TO SOME ISSUE OR ANOTHER. Shame only creates an opportunity for you to remain in the same harmful situation.  Again, you have reached a JUDGE FREE ZONE so feel free to open up and ask for help, give your opinion or advice on this issue, and encourage others. IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE SPEAKING OPENLY ABOUT IT, PLEASE VISIT THE ASK THE NURSE AREA AND RECEIVE ADVICE THERE.

 

Stay encouraged ladies….

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