What is "sexting?"
Most teens today are comfortable with documenting their lives online. Posting photos, updating their status messages, sharing rapid-fire texts, and being a click away from friends are the new
normal for teens. But this “always on” culture also creates an environment where teens can make impulsive decisions that can come back to haunt them. One example of this has been in the news a lot
When people take and send sexually revealing picture of themselves or send sexually explicit messages via text message, it’s called “sexting.” While experts differ on statistics, a 2010 study
conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project confirms sexting
is a teen reality that’s here to stay. Kids “sext” to show off, to entice someone, to show interest in someone, or to prove commitment.
Sending these pictures or messages is problematic enough, but the real challenge comes when this content is shared broadly. As far too many teens have found out, the recipient of these messages is
in possession of a highly compromising image or message that can be easily posted on a social networking site or sent to others via email or text.
Why sexting matters
In a technology world where anything can be copied, sent, posted, and seen by huge audiences, there’s no such thing as being able to control information. The intention doesn’t matter — even if a
photo was taken and sent as a token of love, for example, the technology makes it possible for everyone to see your child’s most intimate self. In the hands of teens, when revealing photos are made
public, the subject almost always ends up feeling humiliated. Furthermore, sending sexual images to minors is against the law, and some states have begun prosecuting kids for child pornography or
There have been some high profile cases of sexting. In July 2008, Cincinnati teen Jesse Logan committed suicide after a nude photo she’d sent to a boyfriend was circulated widely around her high
school, resulting in harassment from her classmates.
Fortunately, networks with large teen audiences -- MTV, for example -- are using their platforms towarn teens against the dangers of sexting. And the website That’s Not Cool.com uses teen-speak to help resist
cyber peer pressure. Hopefully, these messages will get through.
Advice for parents
- Don’t wait for an incident to happen to your child or your child’s friend before you talk about the consequences of sexting. Sure, talking about sex or dating with teens can
be uncomfortable, but it’s better to have the talk before something happens.
- Remind your kids that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved -- and they will lose control of it. Ask teens how they would feel if their teachers, parents, or the
entire school saw the picture, because that happens all the time.
- Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. Let teens know that you understand how they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big
the social pressure is, the potential social humiliation can be hundreds of times worse.
- Teach your children that the buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, they should delete it immediately. It’s better to be part of the solution than the problem.
Besides, if they do send it on, they're distributing pornography -- and that’s against the law.
- Check out ThatsNotCool.com. It’s a fabulous site that gives kids the language and support to take texting and
cell phone power back into their own hands. It’s also a great resource for parents who are uncomfortable dealing directly with this issue.
Fancy making a difference , please donate.
It has been some hours now, more than twenty four, but we will talk in hours, not days, because time seems so irrelevant, yet painful, for the family of a young girl no longer here.
Sadly, she took her own life after the torment of bullying became to much to bear. Minutes and hours will make days, will turn into weeks and months, but this time shall remain a blur to her
family as they grieve. Time is a healer, but not for now.
Hannah, as we will call her, as that is her name, the one chosen by her parents, the one she should always have been called, was fourteen. If people had the common courtesy and decency to have
always referred to Hannah by her name she may not have felt the pain, the anger, the fear and the despair that took her to the point of ending her life.
If you were expecting a politically correct blog, a twee, sweet little statement about bullying, then I'm afraid you're on the wrong site. I can no longer see the point.
Young Hannah was exactly that, young. On the brink of womanhood, looking forward to perhaps romance, career, her own children one day, her own home, success, happiness, she deserved it all, as
every child does. Her parents, family and friends would've dearly loved to see her attain all this too.
They wont now. That has all gone.
And where does the blame for this lie? With a bunch of bullies.
Exactly what Hannah faced on a daily basis, I will never know. But, I tell you what, she didn't deserve it, just as every child whose life ends with suicide at the hands of bullies
That's what it is, bullycide. An absolute end of a victims life because of the action of cowards. That's my definition, and I think it about says it all.
Laws around bullying resulting in an individuals suicide are, at best, unclear and indistinct. The driving force behind any act of victimisation or bullying is hatred.
Hate. It's a very strong word, used so often, by so many, so few of which know what true hate is.
Hate is, however, a powerful notion, one which, when directed at a single person time and time and time again is going to shatter the soul, the resolution of a human being, and the very heart of
them, until nothing remains. No feeling, no happiness, no hope.
This, sadly, is where poor Hannah found herself. Despairing of people and the hate they can cause.
I suppose many will think, "Why didn't she ask for help, tell someone, get help?"
The answer is simple. It's not that easy to talk.
When you have been ground down lower than the dirt, that's where you believe you belong.
To reach that point, to feel at your absolute end, to hit the lowest point, and to be there because of someone elses action, must be utterly terrifying. So asking for help can seem like the
impossible. Therefore, we can never simply think "Why didn't they tell someone?"
It really can't be easy.
But what can we do? What can we as a society, a modern, civilised society do?
We can stand up, be unafraid, be willing to educate and willing to speak out at the bullies, but what would help enormously would be legislation. An act of parliament, an act of law, that puts
bullying into the hate crime category.
Hate? That word again.
Bullying is hate. It's some sick, twisted little game that does the rounds in all our playgrounds, workplaces and communities, and yet the law is simply not strong enough to deter generation after
generation of bullies.
If I were to slate or defame someone because of the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs, I would be prosecuted. It's that simple.
So why is bullying not in the same class of crime, hate? Alas, I do not yet know, and I have trouble understanding why it hasn't been put there yet, but we can hope, and strive toward legislation
that says it should be. But we need an absolute end to it, and it absolutely needs to be as soon as it possibly can.
This way we may make Hannahs awful, terrifying, cruel and untimely end not have been in vain.
Grades are getting low, teens are getting high
A homeless man is in need while others walk on by
A 1st grader is swearing
A 3rd grader is being raped
Young children are taught to judge and hate
Whilst parents celebrate
to sit at the back seat of the bus
You feel special and made to feel cool
At the front your classed as inferior
Oh how there's so much more to be learn't from school
Young women selling there body's
For money and drugs, used as bate
Greed and selfishness is the vision
Isn't this system great
A 14 year old is drinking beer
That child is cutting her wrist from self loath
Things cant get any worse
A victim of bullying has killed himself
Sometimes i feel like going of on one
But karma will come back to me
Sometimes i feel like crying
But strong i must continue to be.
Your words are worth more than those who ridicule
Your kindness is what i see
So hold on to your goals and dreams
because that's what will set you free.
I happened upon a post on FB today from a lass who had the spirit to post a nice photo and admitted she had an eating disorder and asked if she looked pale and ill.
She had been told so, although she was fighting it, but still thought she looked fat and wanted to lose weight.
I, among some, said she looked well and should continue fighting on....unfortunately a couple of folk told her she looked very thin and even one said, I quote, 'You look as though you are about to
die'..I kid you not. Those posts have been removed, I reported them.
Those posts were from Women..now I am not making anything of gender..just an observation.
There are many people out there who wear their hearts on their sleeves..and sometimes can only express themselves through the Social Network. If anyone posts a problem and you see it..make sure you
can jolly them along..do not make light of their problem, often they are seeking support in a bad time for them.
What I read today sickened me and, frankly, made my blood boil. I did what any decent person does..carried on giving my support in words.
It was a classic case of 'Cyber Bullying'...yes..bullying does not only apply to Children at School..it exists in all walks of life....
THINK ON MY BLOG...and as I always say..
Be good to yourselves...AND OTHERS.... Glyn Digby
We often look back and wonder what was that one defining moment that changed our school days from enjoyable to hell. That one moment when you are no longer considered one of the gang, a friend to
confide in, play out with, sit with.
Outcast, you sit alone, your ears homing into the cruel whispers of your peers, the jibes, giggles and put downs. Inside you are screaming, "Why me?". Outwardly you recoil into yourself, wishing
The school bell for breaks and lunch used to be a sound you longed for but now dread. You stand against the wall looking wildly around hoping beyond hope that you are camoflaged from the cruel
They gather slowly at first, but growing in size the names begin, then the pushing and shoving. As you fall to the floor someone kicks out and you feel the blood oozing out of your nose.
Slowly it fades and the teacher has took you to the office, cleaned up the blood and asked, "Who has hurt you?" You have this well rehearsed. "No one I fell ..."
Home at last, opening the door you move quietly not to wake him from his stupor, he will be cross if he sees the state you are in and will punish you for it.
Finally, in your room, you stand taking a long hard look at who you are. Your brain screams out so many words of hate for yourself and so many questions of "Why?". You don't turn on your laptop or
take your phone out of your pocket because you know that even in the isolation of your bedroom you are never safe.
As time slowly passes you feel that there is no way out of this pain, no one to talk to and help. Your thoughts linger to not being here anymore, not caring what happens to you. Freedom from this
pain is within your reach...
This story is a true one, it could of ended in an unthinkable way if someone had not found her that day. She was in the depths of despair, but at last had the strength at her lowest point to tell
someone. It was a hard journey, a long, heart-breaking one, that so many others endure, but one of hope and inspiration to know that someone was there all along. R
What another glorious day on the sunshine front. Perhaps we may be in for a good run of weather now after what has seemed an eternity of grey and rain.
I have been thinking of words today. Tedious and boring? Maybe, but I must be the rebel and rebel against your way of thinking! See what I did there? The same spelling, pronounced differently, two
distinct meanings. A homograph? Homonym? Many deliberate into which deliberate category they belong. It's all very interesting, if you like that kind of thing!
Love words, do I. You can have so much fun with the English language. It's quite a complex old tongue, and confusing to those who learn it as a second language.
For example, you may be a bass guitarist who enjoys a spot of bass fishing! It is possible to alternate between two alternate answers! You would have to look hard at the minute details if you only
observe for a minute, and to be a learned scholar you would have to have learned somewhere firstly!
You could sit in your annex whilst deciding how to annex something, or plan to become an august leader beginning in August. It's not easy to be perfect unless you perfect being so!
The list is very long. Believe me, as I am mad enough to have read it all, and may read it again someday. Sorry. At it again!
Words though. Funny things. Alas, not always so.
Walking about today I have been listening, quite intently and purposely, to as much as I could without becoming intrusive or unwanted. I have heard some kind words, amusing words, downright
hilarious words, and a lot that were out of context that made me nearly laugh loudly and inappropriately! (Mainly my own, those latter examples!)
Unfortunately, though, I have heard some awful ones too, used in offensive, abusive ways toward people in many different situations.
I have heard swearing, cursing, put downs, side swipes, back chatting, discouragement, lies, foul language and insults. It really is all around us. And it really isn't pleasant.
Would it not be a nicer day, along with the wonderful sunshine we've had, if people used only nice words for a change? I admit, sometimes it's hard to stifle certain words when faced with
uncertain circumstances, but, if we all tried a little harder, it would be a more enjoyable day to not hear rudeness or insult.
Imagine how much happier those that suffer daily torrents of abusive, foul and derogatory words would be if their day contained none such happenings.
We should always think long and hard before casting a nasty, unwanted or unecessary word at another person no matter what the situation.
You can always approximate exactly how someone may feel, but your guess would only be approximate.
Have a good evening all, and try to be the one that makes a difference tomorrow.
When you're out and about and your facing your day,
Do you take time to notice if a stranger is okay?
Does their smile genuinely meet their eyes?
Is there laughter just one massive disguise?
When you're going to the shops and hanging with your friends,
Do you give them the time to share how their story begins?
Do you look past yourself to see the needs of another?
To help that homeless kid without a father or a mother?
Or maybe it's your neighbour who always keeps to himself,
Scared to let anyone close enough to see his private hell.
Maybe it's the elderly lady that's slowly crossing the street,
Did you take time to look into the friendliest face you'll ever meet.
We go through each moment worried how it affects us,
And sometimes in the process we lose sight of love.
Caring for one another is what makes the world go round,
Giving of who we are is what can make the lost be found.
It doesn't take much to change a person's life,
The smallest act of kindness can make a person want to try...
To better themselves for their loved ones and for all mankind.
But remember it all starts with you, if you'd only take the time.
Children and teens often show signs of bullying. Learn to recognize the sign before it is too late. Here are a few warning signs your child may be being bullied. If you suspect bullying, ask them
1 - Change in their usual route to and from activities.
2 - Not wanting to go on school bus
3 - Unusual behavior such as aggression and being unreasonable
4 - Asking for you to drive them to school instead of walking or going on the school bus
5 - Your child starts bullying their brothers, sisters and cousins, etc.
6 - Refusing to go to school
7 - Unexplained, cuts, bruises, scrapes and bumps
8 - Feeling to sick for school in the morning, and once school lets in they feel better
9 - Refusing to tell you what is bothering them
10 - Grades suddenly drop
11 - Continually lose money or start stealing money out of your wallet or purse,
12 - Clothing, school work, books and backpack destroyed
13 - Mobile phones, ipod, mp3 player or other personal belongings turn up missing
14 - Nightmares
15 - Coming home from school hungry
16 - Withdrawn
17 - Anxious
18 - Lack of confidence
19 - Not eating
20 - Making excuses for any of the above mentioned.
21 - Worst of all, threats of suicide and actually attempting suicide.
What you don't know
The day that we met, you never even knew
That I could have been the greatest friend to you
Instead you judged me based on what you saw with your eyes
You liked to belittle me and spread rumors based on lies
When I walked through the door to start my day of school
I just tried to avoid you, you always made me out to be the fool
Getting all of your friends to chant as I walked down the hall
Mooing at me, calling me names, I was too ashamed to stand tall
Then the most popular boy asked me to the school dance
I couldn't believe my time had come, I was finally given a chance
But then the truth set in and it all became too clear
It was just a joke he played, and everybody cheered
You never gave me a chance to just be who I was
A scared and lonely girl with a huge capacity to love
"What you don't know can't hurt you" is really not that true
Because what you didn't know could have really helped you
When you judged me that day and never gave me a second glance
You let go of a good friendship had I been given half a chance
You bullied me and made my life hell at all cost
But really if truth be told, you missed out, it was your loss
It took me years to overcome the whispers, the words, the shouts
But I have released them all from me, I've finally let them out
If you think about judging, please remember these words of mine
You could be missing out on something great, if you just gave them the time
Respect each other and at all costs, please respect yourself
Be kind to one another, and if someone bullies... please do tell
Keep telling your story over and over until someone listens to you
Be gentle with each other, and to yourself, always be true.
I have been weeding a bit this week. Well, a lot actually. Removing those vile plants, sometimes little, sometimes huge, that strangle the life out of our gardens' beautiful blooms. It is down to
me which plants stay, which go. I have the power in my fingertips to decide what lives and what, ultimately, dies. It's quite a feeling of power. A strength I have at my disposal to ensure the view
in a garden is a pleasing one. We don't wish to have these nasty, horrid, interfering weeds in our plot, our land. Our place.
I stop there though.
I do not set about the neighbours garden, their land. Neither do I take a scythe to the hedgerows of our roads and lanes, cutting swathes of dandelions and cow parsley as I go on an unecessary
rampage. The weeds can exist here, in their own niche, and not bother the pleasantness of my garden. My land.
Quite often life throws something in our way. Something we do not like. Something rooted in our immediate path of existence. Sinister sometimes, downright evil in some instances. A vile, nasty
growth. Maybe small, maybe vast, but all the same unwelcome.
How do we remove it? How do we prevent it from ever growing again?
I'm not sure we do. It will always be there. It's not always possible to pull it up or cut it down and know that it wont return. We can scrape the very root out of the soil, eliminate all trace of
growth, but we can never be sure there isn't another seed somewhere, waiting for the right conditions, the right feed to reignite life, however sordid it may be. Everything has a seed. There is many
billions of us here on this planet and we all came from the same seed, but we were all nurtured individually.
We are not one unit, one entity, but we are not all weeds either. We are, however, all trying to exist in one giant garden, trying to get by and achieve, accomplish all that we can on the
different paths we walk.
No two people have the same road to go down. No two peoples existence are identical.
There are always going to be weeds, strangling, impairing, suffocating the beautiful blooms. But, blooms there are too.
If on your path you find that being, that same seed sown in different conditions, the one that could choke your very peaceful, calm life, simply pass it by. Have the strength to walk to your
garden, your land in which you wish to be.
Always wish to be with the beautiful flowers and enjoy the view you desire. Nobody has that vision but you.
Happy Saturday all, hope it's a good weekend for you.
I thought today, in light of some peoples recent, and much appreciated kindness, we could have a think about generosity.
We, mainly Marie, have participated in a couple of car boot sales to raise some funds for HAB in the past couple of weeks and we would not have even got off the ground had it not been for
donations of items to sell. The response in asking your good selves if you could possibly let us have some items to sell was, quite frankly, overwhelming. Bits and pieces from all manner of people
found their way to us for our booting trips and got us off to a successful start in fundraising.
However, if it were not for the generous spirit that people showed we would've had a few of my old CD's to flog and not much else!
We all think of ourselves, quite naturally, every day, as soon as we wake. We ponder what our day will bring, what others will bring to our day, who will help us, hinder us, be downright annoying
and rude to us! It's perfectly acceptable to worry each morning about how our day will progress and to give our first thoughts to our own welfare. After all, we are human. The most selfish of
Though, deep down, we're not all that self-centred and shallow. Eventually, when the caffeine's kicked in, most of us begin to wonder about others and how their daily lives may be playing
To give by way of a physical action, for example the donations of items we recieved, is a kindness that is thoughtful, appreciated, and also appreciative. It is an act that one person has
considered, toward another, to make a difference, to help a further cause and hopefully benefit more people along the way.
How else do we give though? How else can we be a generous person, helping others without putting ourselves out, making good for someone elses day?
Just give something.
It doesn't have to be an actual thing, an item, just a gesture. Generosity is all around. It is something that is free, does not have to cost each of us anything more than time, and can be given
daily. All of us have the ability to share a generous and benevolent action. Every time we speak it can be heard, if we choose, the generous spirit that we are all capable of passing to another.
Resentment, maliciousness, spite and hatred can so easily be conveyed in words, yet so can compliment, care, politeness and compassion.
So today, and every day, try and choose your words carefully. Think of generosity and how we can be giving, always, in all that we do. It's not difficult, but it is so rewarding to know that our
generosity in spirit can make a daily difference to one anothers lives. Dan
Where do I start? Where do I begin? How do I start again?
So many questions, decisions, to face as well as make. They've taken everything from me, ground me so low that I feel I belong in the dirt.
When it all began, I couldn't even comprehend why. What the hell had I done? Or maybe not done? What made me a target? Was it the way I dressed, my hair, my voice? Did I smell? Had I looked at the
wrong girl, the wrong boy? What the hell? I didn't know, but there I was, bullied and alone.
Very, very alone.
Names hurt, but somehow, I had learned to live with them. To a degree, ignored it all in the vain hope that it might just stop. When the first physical strike occurred I nearly fainted. They, yes
they, more than one, were hitting me, landing blow after malicious blow. I curled up, collapsed on the floor, taking punches at first, then boots. Strangely, I felt no pain at the actual assault, no
wounds troubled me on my body, but my soul was numb. Destroyed almost.
After what seemed an eternity, someone scraped me up, carried, well no, dragged, me away.
It was not to be the one and only time. Ribs broke. Fingers one day, toes another as I tried to defend, then, lastly, my jaw and nose. These injuries I could not hide. My family noticed. I had
done my best to hide and explain away previous wounds, but not now. Blood caked my clothes, filled my eyes. My mouth tasted of the earth I ended up in that time. It couldn't go on any longer. I
needed help, support, guidance. A friend.
That was when I finally reached out. There is always someone there, you just need to look closely sometimes to notice. Noone is truly alone, not even by choice.
So, where do I start? Where do I begin? Many questions haunted me after all I had suffered. It took time, and a lot of it, to realise that I had not been at fault, that I hadn't brought this upon
myself, that I did not deserve it in any way. I learned to trust people again, to engage with my peers, to form friendships, even in unlikely circles, places I never realised that I fitted in. Places
I belonged. Could belong.
My confidence, once shattered, slowly returned. Self-esteem even crept upon me, making me understand that I did not have to feel that low and rejected ever again. I finally knew that somewhere in
this world was a place for me, a place for all that had at one time or another felt they did not belong, exist even, and that we can all live peacefully.
It just takes a little belief, courage to seek and ask for support. And courage.... did I say that already? It's in all of us somewhere, and no matter how small an amount you have, it can make all
the difference to your life.
Where do you start?
Bullying is not just one individual against another; neither is it simply a local group of people against another. Sometimes it is institutions against groups of people.
The government uses a phrase a lot these days – “scroungers and strivers”.
Let’s start with a definition from Oxford English Dictionary :
‘strive’ = make great efforts to achieve or obtain something:
Thus a ‘striver’ is someone who makes great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
‘scrounger’ = a person who borrows or lives off others.
Let’s look at an individual, a real person whom I know personally. Then I will briefly consider a composite individual.
My real person has big problems due to a genetic condition which always means a genuine, uncontestable cognitive deficit. You can’t deny this – it is a clear genetic test which is
absolute and cannot throw up false positives – unusually for medical testing!
Can someone like this be said to strive? Well I’ll give just one example and ask you to judge for yourselves.
One time I was helping him with some mathematical type stuff which he had been told to learn. This kind of stuff was so hard for him. We sat together and I repeatedly
explained the work, trying to find different ways to explain and hoping to hit on a way that would make sense. Suddenly he started to cry and I confess I did too – the strain on us both
was extreme. For him it was the utter incomrehensibility of it coupled with the belief he had to do it. And for me it was acute distress from
seeing him struggle and being utterly unable to help. We had been at this for about 45 mins by this time and it was still as clear as mud to him.
And then – this distraught person, who should not have had to struggle with this, wiped their eyes and drew in a long and shuddering breath of the type you do when you have been sobbing
uncontrollably. He picked up the paper and started to try again.
Now that is striving in my book. Trying so hard to do the things that are either just out of your reach – or in this case frankly impossible – but nonetheless still
trying and not giving up.
Despite all that effort though and 10 years later he is still unable to do this kind of stuff. He needs benefits to help him have any kind of a life. He needs full time
supervision to keep him safe.
Is he a scrounger? Should he be bullied by those who are supposed to be civilised people ? Bullied for an accident of birth which could happen to anyone?
I remember Fiona Pilkington who killed her disabled daughter and then herself to escape the people who were making their lives hell. She was a Leicestershire woman – there are countless
other examples around the country.
The other ‘individual’ I want to contrast my striver with is a composite as I said – a wealthy person, mostly inherited wealth of course and not earned. He has never wanted for
anything materially. He has fallen into very well paid jobs due partly to his family’s influence and wealth, partly his education at Eton (or other prestigious, expensive private school)
and partly from his university career free of course from student loans.
Amazingly he classes himself as a striver. And maybe he did have to put in some effort along the way. He does have the material trappings of ‘succcess’ – the beautiful house, a
well paid job with a very good expense account (which he fiddles) and friends in high places who make things worth his while (on the side) to nudge some things this way and other things that
way. He may be in banking, politics or business but always in the top tier.
But is he as much a striver as the specific individual I know, whose struggles I know and part of whose story I told you at the beginning.
Not in my book.
Bullies are everywhere. All people should have their efforts acknowledged and valued. No-one should be decried for circumstances they cannot control or
Special Educational Needs....SEN. Why do we use 'labels'?
Special Educational Needs....SEN. Why do we use 'labels'?
Far too often, I see articles in the media covering all aspects of Society and the 'labels' always appear.
'Learning Difficulties'. Now there's your starter for ten! What are 'Learning Difficulties?.I take this to mean anyone who may not understand easily that which is taught in Schools. I
think that is a fair assumption of the phrase, but it has a stigma. 'Oh, he's that 'Special Needs kid'..She goes to that 'Special School'...More labels..we are up to three already, four if you take
in my first line.
Isn't it so bad that we all use these phrases? Admit it..we all have without thinking. YES YOU! It is a flippant remark that is dismissive in it's own way. A throwaway phrase to gloss
over something that is not understood. I consider myself lucky that I have the 'basics' to continue my daily duties. I can read, write and spell, I can do calculations with numbers so that I know how
much or how little to spend. There are so many who cannot. It is not through the lack of efficient Education or a failure of the 'system'..it is the individual who suffers the problem.
That individual boy, girl, Woman, Man has the unenviable task of always 'trying to catch up'. It is noticeable in Schools, of course, where other pupils will find it 'good fun' to make a
mokery of those children. That is just the start. Children grow to become Adults, still with the same problems.. They are 'A Bit Behind'..a 'Bit Slow'..'Not The Full Shilling'..'Not Normal'.
We are up to Eight labels now. Those people, young and old alike, are all too aware of their situation. They deal with it in their own ways, some better than others. Some make light of
it, others withdraw. But the pain is always under the surface. I have, throughout my 57 years, known all of these people.
I have laughed with them and comforted them when they have suffered verbal taunts and, on more than one occaision, physical abuse.
It is important that we all notice them and show them our support. Take the time to talk to them.
'They're some of those Down's Syndrome People'..'He's Left Handed'..'That Man who Walks Funny'. Eleven labels now..there are too many.
ALL of the people I have mentioned suffer from 'Bullying' in many different forms. None seek any type of pity. All just want to be part of this World.
Embrace them all..for not one of us is perfect in any way.
THINK before you use that throwaway remark again. All of us are equal.
Hope today is going well so far and you're all enjoying the slightly better weather than we experienced yesterday whilst car booting! It was horrendous in the rain, but still an enjoyable time, as
we managed to raise some much needed funds and awareness of our group.
I have been scouring the news this morning, as I always do, and noticed an article on the yahoo homepage concerning the plight of the parents of children who have committed suicide because of the
bullying they have suffered.
These parents have taken their concerns to Downing Street and presented a letter to David Cameron. The following is part of that letter:
"On behalf of all children who have experienced bullying, and their
families, we are calling on you and your Government to take action to help prevent more people suffering in this way.
"Together we can stop bullying in our society. Please give us your
support and meet with us to discuss how we make bullying unacceptable, once and for all."
The potential campaign is being led by BeatBullying and is to hopefully
be known as "Aydens Law" after the fourteen year old son of leading advocate, Shy Keenan, who was found dead after taking his life.
Fourteen? How on earth can we accept living in a society where a child
of this age feels so in despair because of the callous words and actions of others his own age lead to his taking his own life? It's unacceptable, unecessary. Unkind.
What if that child were younger? Would we realise then that bullying
needs to be addressed and eradicated? What if that child were nine?
Kelly Dugmore knows that feeling.
Her nine year old son, Aaron, took his own life. He hung himself.
Hung himself? Truly horrific, as had in-school bullying policies been
properly implemented and adhered to, Aaron may have been able to seek support, know that help was available, and spare his family the trauma and grief they will now forever live with.
Nine? Hanging? I cannot even begin to imagine the pain such a young soul
had experienced as to wish to end it all. My youngest is nine. I would hope she never knows such pain in all her life, but to feel that so young, awful. Kelly Dugmore says: "It's still very raw,
we're all still numb."
I shouldn't think she will ever feel anything but numb.
A Downing Street spokesman said: "Bullying can have a devastating effect
on the lives of victims and their families and we are clear that it must not be tolerated."
That should read not "can" have a devastating effect, but "does". There
is no two ways about it, it does have a devastating and lasting effect on all involved, victims and families alike. If the government are prepared to now tackle, head-on, the very real and terrifying
bullying experienced by so many on a daily basis, then good on them, but, sadly, it is too late for some. If, in any way, we can help to get stronger policy or legislation when it comes to school
bullies, and a noticeable drop, or end to, the statistics concerning "bullycide", then we are very much behind Ms. Keenan, BeatBullying, and all that support them.
Let us all use our voice and help to stop other families having to
endure the pain, trauma, and utmost horror that too many have already experienced.
Sometimes I step away from life and sit back in the shadows of my mind, looking in and really seeing how we are as people.
What drives us, the emotions we go through, love, hate ,pain , pleasure, jealousy , kindness.
We awake each morning all with different lives and different thoughts. If we are lucky to sleep that is, not having to worry about facing a new
I wonder why things happen, we are all so unique. We get caught up in our own thoughts our only lives.
We walk down the street blinkered with in our own minds. Do you see that homeless man , that drug abuser, the frail lady struggling to cross the
road, or do you stay tunnel visioned and carry on your daily journey? Do you see the child whose eyes tell only a glimmer of the hell that they are going
through? The silent cry for help? Do you see that man on his way to hospital dreading the news he gets?
So my friends I ask only one thing from you, take 5 minutes out of your day to look and I mean really look around you. See the clarity of life, good and bad. Be thankful for at least one good thing in your life and stand strong. There is always someone you can turn too,
Thought today I would have a look at war. Cheerful, I know, but sadly always current!
There are the ongoing conflicts that we all hear about daily. Afghanistan, the obvious example, is a truly horrific ending and, hopefully, re-birth of a nation never quite held together under the
rule of successive governments and rebel causes. In South America we have the not so heard, or read about wars between installed governments and rebel drug cartels, Mexico and Colombia in particular,
where a commodity as powerful an influence as narcotics is the currency shaping nations.
And how, you may ask, is this relevant to us here in the safety of our little island sovereignty?
Well, it isn't our primary concern when we wake up every day, but, ultimately it may influence at one time or another our lives or routines. Why? Well, you see, war breeds nothing but war. Wars
don't kill people, guns don't kill people. People kill people. It is one persons choice over another to take a life, to destroy something as blessed as human existence.
You're still asking, "Why is war relevant to us today?"
It's how the wars start is my worry. Bullying.
One person may believe in an ethic, a moral, a way of life, and another may believe something different. This is where we generate the main rule in the existence of all humanity, difference. No
two people are the same, anywhere in the world. It's what makes the world tick, makes it all worth striving for. The chance to be ourselves, our own unique fingerprint indelibly planted on the world
during our time here.
So, what happens when two people of total difference get together and realise they do share commonalities? Similar traits? An ideology? A common hate? A convergence of two soon becomes a group, a
pact, an alliance. An army. And it all begins when one or two stray from the common conscience of rational thinking, of believing in an existence for all as something given and fair. At its core, the
beginning of bullying, seeking to alter the path of how life should be an equal and pleasant experience for each and every one of us.
Maybe this morning, and tomorrow, war might not be the first thing you think about, but it may influence your feelings at some point during the day. You may wonder how those caught in conflict
feel as they wake each morning to the reality that that day could be their last. The fear, dread and exhaustion that they carry in a warzone is felt the world over by millions more every single day
as they awaken to face their own personal battle borne of a sinister change in someones elses perception of the planet around them. Someones own fear and hatred of things they don't understand leads
them to bully and unethically treat others, singularly at first, then as a whole, to the detriment of what should be a fair existence for all.
So as you do not think about war and its consequences tomorrow, just think instead to accept people for who they are, how they are, and why they are here. It may just make one less conflict an
issue for someone. Realising we are all here on borrowed time should be our reason to co-exist as one world. Have a good evening all. :)
Beauty And The Beast.......Once upon a time in a land far away, where hills met the sky and the sky was the brightest blue and if it ever rained, rose petals fell from
pink fluffy clouds............OK, we all know the story of how a beautiful girl falls in love with a man who has been bewitched by a wicked witch and turned into a terrifying beast. Haunted by his
looks, he hides from life only finally revealing his torment to the beautiful girl who is able to see through him and into the much deeper depths that are hidden
within his soul. But she was never judging him anyway. He was creating his own agony by how he saw himself.
Slightly different take on the fairytale but it’s one I invented to use on my mirror shy clients who wanted to feel better and more confident about themselves but were unable to achieve this because
the mirror reflected all their perceived flaws and imperfections. It’s hard to inspire or motivate a person to grow their levels of confidence and look and feel good when something within them is
holding them back. Usually it’s because we’ve got into the habit of making comparisons leading us to think that we are lacking in some way or simply not good enough. For many women (and men too),
this boils down to comparing ourselves to the constant streaming of body and looks perfect images in the media. As we know, a woman’s confidence levels are often linked to how we judge ourselves
based on how we think we appear and more often than not, we can be our own worst critic if we believe that we don’t match up to ideals portrayed by the media.
So, my method of helping women transcend through this tricky hurdle is to suggest that they are the Beauty and the Beast is the false reflection in the mirror. Remember that underneath the skin of
the Beast in the fairytale was a truly knock out, handsome guy? Well, we all know that the Beast was only revealed as the handsome Prince once he knew he was loved and accepted. Once the Beauty fell
in love with him as he was, the spell was broken and he was transformed. What a hunk he turned into and what a power real love and acceptance has to transform.
Beauty had looked past the surface and seen something much more appealing that the beast had been unable to see.
The message here is this : you must make friends with the beast in your mirror. You must learn to forgive and love the beast to the point where he is transformed from critical, negative and overly
judgemental, to accepting, soft and loving. No one is perfect so you have to learn to love your own reflection in order to grow your confidence and better your self esteem. Once you achieve this, the
beauty inside of you will be revealed and the beast will be no more. You’ll start to glow, feel better, know you’re improving and once you start to feel kinder and more forgiving towards yourself,
you will be able to make other positive changes that help you not only make the most of how you look but help you enjoy and appreciate how you look and feel too.
Looks aren’t everything but our sense of worth, value and confidence is vital in regard to how we live and deal with our daily life as well as our own happiness.
The beast is in all of us undermining our esteem, finding our weak links, pointing out our perceived imperfections, hiding our true beauty and making us feel bad about ourselves.
But instead of looking for flaws you can train the beast to look for the beauty within and learn to quieten his voice by loving your own reflection. Then real transformation can begin on many levels
with truly positive results as you start to see yourself in a far more appreciative light. Love Nina x
Copyright Nina Wornham 2013. Extract from the book currently being written, I'm Already Fabulous Thanks'
For most of us today, we have enjoyed a real taste of Spring. The warm weather makes us smile and tends to bring out the best in people. It's on days like these that we should count our blessings
and give some thought to those who have not been so fortunate. Those whose lives are blighted everyday, whatever the weather.
The Child who fears going to School, the parents who have to deal with their 'quiet child' who will not speak of his, or her, problems. Also the worker whose whole life is made misery by those
don't like the way they quietly go about their job and do not join in with the workplace 'foolery'.
This is true as well for people of different Religions or Races who suffer predijuces and those who some think of as 'not normal', whatever that is supposed to mean. The visible and not so visible
disabled. All of these people suffer taunts and, sadly sometimes physical and mental abuse.
So whilst we may have had a nice day, give thought to those who have not. They are closer than you may think. Talk to all along the way and make time to listen to what they have to say. It maybe that
you are the only person that day who can bring a little sunshine into their lives-it will make them, and you, happier people.
I shall finish with a poem that I wrote yesterday, entitled THE STARE. It deals with probably the most disturbing effect of 'Bullying'. That which results in self harm and, sadly, sometimes
The push that caught him
He looked back
Saw the Stare
Walked on through
The silent Street
The Stare was there
Full at his feet
Caught the Stare
Said, 'What's this for?'
Reply came full
'For you, for sure'
'Why the jolt?'
The Stare said
'Man you did me good'
'Why is that?'
The Stare stood still
'You must have known
That I was ill'
'You beat me well
When I was weak'
The Stare moved forward
Cheek to cheek
'I now feel no pain
No more trouble
Time and again'
'Who are You?'
He shouted loud
The Stare came back
'I'm one that's proud'
'Proud of what?'
He sneered in speech
The Stare replied
'I'm proud to teach'
'I am now
so free from pain
No more taunting,
You've no gain'
'It was more
Than I could stand
I moved on
By my own hand'
He felt the cold
And saw the Stare
As if in air
He heard the Stare
Inside him deep
'Ill stay with you
Awake and sleep'
He knew it then
Oh no, you fool
The Stare was from
That boy at School
He ran on
His heart pounding
But there was nothing
In that street
But the Stare
He would always meet....
Just a quick thought today about those of us in society that have a disability.
It happens you know, people are different! Some of us are born "normal", whatever that means, and some are born with, or develop, a disability in life, but, hey, guess what? Those people are just
like everybody else deep down. They breathe, they think, they feel, just like we all do. However, as we've discovered sadly, all too often certain people attract the unwanted attention of a bully due
to their physical or emotional condition.
Through HAB, we have seen many circumstances whereby a persons "difference" has led to them suffering some of the most unimaginable taunting, verbal and physical abuse, and even very violent
aggression. It is truly awful to think that someone who may need just that little more help on a daily basis than others then has to face extreme ignorance towards this fact from a person who simply
seeks to harm for their own twisted enjoyment.
Some of us do care though. If you're cut, you bleed. You put a plaster on it and carry on. Those wounds that are too deep to simply put a band-aid on remain forever, burned into the memory, and
forever associated with unhappiness. Do people think before bullying a person with a disability? Sadly, no. A person does not think before bullying anyone, let alone take into account if their
differences may already make them feel a little more unsafe in society than others.
It's truly horrifying to think that someone, on top of any physical or emotional impairment, may encounter a prolonged and sustained case of victimisation, but, alas, it does happen.
Spare a thought today for anyone suffering at the hands of bullies, and, if possible, let them, and us, know that we are not all so small minded as to be part of the darker side of society. Let
everyone you encounter today feel accepted, wanted and appreciated, they might just return the favour no matter what your "differences" may also be!
What a great day ! The London marathon showed how many people care, that go the extra mile to support each other and those in need. Well done to all that took part !
We are pleased to introduce Bella Vaughan to our team ! Bella is a fantastic artist, and will be adding her work to all of our pages. Please keep checking back for updates. We are honoured to
showcase her talent.
We look forward to working with you Bella :)
Bella Vaughan's cartoon
With recent events in Boston I thought a little note about solidarity would be in order for todays blog post.
As yet, noone has been identified as the culprit behind the cowardly attacks in America targeting, as usual, the good, the innocent, the young and old alike.
Whichever "organisation" has perpetrated this crime, and in whatever name or cause, they have sought to undermine the structure of society once again, driving fear
into the population, intimidating people, fighting against something they neither understand or accept. Solidarity.
An event such as this marathon draws people from all walks of life, all nationalities, it unites one another in a common cause. The bombs were indiscriminate,
maiming all people, from all walks of life, in their path. An intentional strike aimed at different people united for one purpose.
Bullying therefore? Yes, it is. Albeit under the more globally recognised term of terrorism, it is undoubtedly a form of bullying.
To attack the innocent, those going about their daily life wishing for no interference, to have no other intent than causing horror and pain, we must
consider this an act of bullying.
As this weekends London marathon approaches, we face here the prospect of such an attack. Will we bow down to such a threat and cancel our sporting occasions? No.
In the face of victimisation, whether on a personal level or as a nation, we must not lay down or hide.
To be pushed, insulted, rejected, ridiculed or assaulted should not be part of any persons daily life or routine and, when it comes out of the blue, in the form of terrorism, we should stand
united more strongly than ever before.
Happy Sunday All!
Just thought I would do a quick blog this morning to discuss our Get Together this coming evening.
We are meeting at 7 p.m at the Oat Hill public house. They have very kindly said we may have use of a room and we look forward to seeing those there that have already said they can attend.
It's a very exciting time for us at HAB as this will be our first Get Together. What we hope to do, and to demonstrate to people, is that we are passionate about what we are doing and that we have
solid plans for the future. Obviously if anyone attending can offer their help, advice or support to us then this will be greatly appreciated.
Bullying is a serious issue, blighting many thousands of peoples lives, and we wish to maintain our presence and hopefully continue to grow, try to help and advise where possible, and to make as
much difference as we can.
This evenings coming meeting is a chance for other like-minded people to get on board with HAB and we are so looking forward to your personal input. In truth, we are a little nervous! It's quite
daunting putting ourselves under the spotlight, but we know we have some fantastic supporters already and hope to gain many more tonight.
Our website is still being added to daily, people are still contacting us daily, and we feel like we are growing daily with all the kind messages, along with those from people seeking help, that
We now have a chat facility on our website, though this needs a little tweaking, a donate button, games in the pipeline, and we shall maintain as much a presence on here as possible.
We are hoping that this evening will be a great success and we can't wait to meet those in person that have already shown us so much support.
Have a lovely day all.
I thought today, with the weather having taken a turn for the worse again, we could have a brief look at how we feel.
It's never a great start to the day when we realise outside it's wet, cold, dismal and grey. It affects our mood and makes us instantly feel just that little bit lower, makes us want the duvet
back on and for us to stay at home. Is this the same for all of us?
Well, no, it isn't.
Some of us have to face some things in our daily routines a lot more ominous than the rain outside. For some, getting up each day is a real struggle. Knowing that day in, day out, someone in your
life goes out of their way to make your day a misery is hard to accept, and it's something all too common to thousands of you.
Any day with the fear of encountering your bully (or sadly for many, bullies) is a day so many dread. Whether you are at school facing the playgroung thug or at work with that one colleague that
just has it in for you, each day can be a severe struggle.
Why does the bullying take place? There are so many factors that make a person this way, so many complexities that can dictate and determine an individuals behaviour. And why are you in particular
their chosen target? What did you do to them? How did you attract their attention? Again, so many different reasons as to why someone would single you out, and no clear answer in most situations.
Bullying isn't bred from one single source. It wasn't written into one persons make-up in the same way it shows in another.
Everybodys circumstances are different, everyones story has an individual script.
So, should we worry about the rain outside today? Should we face our day any differently other than putting on our waterproofs?
Yes, we should.
Granted, it's near on impossible somedays for so many people to face the inevitable, to get that grief in their daily lives that they've become so accustomed to, to be bullied. That's why we, and
many more, are here. We don't accept that it should be a part of a persons life to be harassed, stalked, taunted, mimicked, injured, abused or emotionally blackmailed. Life wasn't meant to be like
Look out for yourselves today, and look around at others. If someone seems down, unhappy in any way, give them a smile. You never know, it may be the first smile they've had aimed at them in a
while, and they may just make you smile in return.
If you're the one not smiling, if you fear the day ahead, try not to. Others feel the same and it's time we united. Keep active, keep in touch with those that you know care, and keep in touch with
us here at Harborough Against Bullying. We can't change the world overnight, but we can reassure one another daily.
And if you finish the day only worrying about the weather then it wont have been such a bad day after all!!
Wall to Wall, are one of the UK’s leading independent production companies with a reputation for making intelligent and
sensitively made content. Wall to Wall are most well known for making programmes such as ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and the hit family reunion series ‘Long Lost Family’.
We are now in the process of making a
new series for BBC 1, ‘The Gift’ (working title) which is a programme that will help people try and make amends for something that they have done or express their
gratitude to someone that has changed their life. For many people it is often not possible to do this themselves – the person they want to thank may be a stranger and they don’t know
how to find them – or perhaps they can’t find the courage to make an approach alone.
With a team of professional mediators,
psychologists and experts in tracing people, the programme will help put these people in touch, help them find a gesture or gift that represents their feelings and support them through a
meeting. I have attached a background information document that explains the programme in a bit more detail.
As well as exploring areas like forgiveness and gratitude – it’s a chance for us to explore and raise awareness of issues such as bullying and the lasting impact it can have on the
lives of those involved. One of the stories we’re keen to document is that of someone who perhaps used to be a bully when they were younger and now would like to make amends with the victim of their
bullying. As an adult, the memory of harming another person either physically or emotionally can be a major source of guilt - even if the events took place long ago. The need and willingness to
apologise is a sentiment oft-expressed by people who used to bully and there are also many indications that an apology can be integral to a cathartic process for the victim of bullying as well. It
takes courage to revisit the past and apologise – many people wanting to do so may not know where to start either because they cannot track down the person to whom they wish to say sorry or because
they cannot find the words to express themselves.
Perhaps you know of someone with whom these issues may strike a chord? We would like anyone who might need our help to have the opportunity to contact us.
Wall to Wall
Media | 85 Gray’s Inn Road
Today we are covering a very sad but true side to bullying.
Bullycide is when a person takes their own life to escape bullying.
What Leads to Bullycide?
Physical, emotional or mental bullying.
Constant physical, emotional or mental pain.
Embarrassing moment that is constantly brought up by others and used to ridicule the victim.
Being the victim of bullying by a parent, teacher, coach or other adult in a role of authority.
When a victim of bullying loses a close friend to accident or a move when he/she has no other friends.
Signs of Depression
Sadness that is continuous.
Constant fatigue or lethargy.
Anxiety or panic attacks.
Problems making decisions.
Physical, emotional or mental pain that can't be treated successfully.
Sharp or drastic change in sleeping or eating patterns.
Thoughts or attempts of suicide.
Signs of Bullycide
Consistently expressing feelings of hopelessness.
Loss of interest in hobbies or other favorite activities.
Obsession with death.
Giving prized possessions away.
Feelings of worthlessness.
Obsession with contacting or visiting close friends and loved ones.
Bullycide is a reality.
So many people, particularly the young, find that constant and incessant bullying leaves them with no other alternative than to end their lives to ease their suffering.
As many as 44% of suicides comitted in the UK by younger people are due to bullying. Between 2000 and 2008 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded 176 suicides in the 10-14 year old age
group. Of the 59 cases that were covered by national press, 26 (44%) were connected to bullying. A lack of information cannot determine the specific reasons behind the other 56% of suicides in this
time period, though we may summise that others were due to bullying issues.
In the age group 15-19, in the same time frame, the ONS recorded 1769 suicides with 65% of the bullying related cases being young females.
The list of statistics unfortunately gives a breakdown of the methods behind these tragic suicides.
It is truly a sad situation for a person, young or old, to find themselves so utterly in despair of their lives. Could these suicides have been prevented? Perhaps not all, but certainly some, had
the people in question had more information, support and guidance in how to counteract their feelings. It is important, vital even, to take the time to listen to, talk to or simply to look out for
our children, friends and colleagues when we may suspect that bullying is a part of their daily lives.
Sadly not everyone reaches out for support at times of sadness and then we can only read the statistics of those who have taken that terrible decision to take their lives. Help is here through our
site and many more, and we must educate one another, in particular the younger generation, to reassure people that if the bullying is such a burden they can reach out to someone. A trusted friend,
relative, teacher or carer can be approached, or seek support through our website or the other recognised help forums.
Lets all look around today and just see if someone needs a friend.
Bullying and Young Carers. It really saddens us here at h.a.b.midlands that these statistics show that people who are already going through so much are targeted by bullies...
|The lives of young carers can be significantly affected by their responsibility to care for a family member who has a physical illness or disability, mental health
problem, sensory or learning disability, or has issues with the misuse of drugs or alcohol. Young carers are at risk of bullying for a variety of reasons. Depending on responsibilities at home, they
may find themselves being unable to fully participate in school or after-school activities or ‘fun stuff'. This can make it difficult to form relationships, hinder successful transitions, or lead to
educational difficulties. Young carers may find themselves being bullied because of the differences, or perceived differences, in their family circumstances. A child who has the burden
of all the household tasks may find it difficult to maintain a high level of personal presentation. The family may have a very low income which affects the opportunity to take part in activities
which have to be paid for, and may impact upon the child or young person to be able to ‘fit in' with fashion and labels or have the latest mobile phone.
Powys Council in Wales reports the following statistics regarding young carers and bullying:
Barriers to informing that bullying is taking place:
- 71% of young carers have been bullied
- 79% were called names
- 20% missed school as a result of bullying
- 33% did not turn to their teachers for help
- A desire to ‘fit in' and prevent drawing further attention to themselves.
- A lack of a trusting relationship with a member of staff at school due to sporadic attendance
- A concern about increasing the stress levels of parents
- A strong sense of self-reliance and independence that may come with their caring responsibilities
- A belief that bullying is a ‘low priority' compared to other issues in the young person's life
HARBOROUGH AGAINST BULLYING
Hi and welcome to our website and first blog!
We started out as a small facebook profile back in November 2011. It was anti-bullying week. My son had just returned from his day at school. He was beaten and
The school had not informed me of this at all, and to say I was shocked would not be true. You see my son has always been bullied. This, however, was the last time
anyone would be hurting him again. We had to make a stand to protect him and other people that are subjected to bullying, day in day out!
My son has now changed schools, he is doing really well, and no longer has the threat of being bullied.
My son has had learning difficulties and complex problems all of his life that make him different to most of his peers and subsequently the victim of verbal bullying
and physical bullying.
Everyone is different and unique, but everyone is entitled to be treated fairly and respected by others, whether at home, school or within the work place. We hear so
often about cases of bullying where the victim has had nowhere to seek comfort, advice and support. Here at H.A.B.Midlands, we are here for you to turn to.