A Message To The Bullies And The Bullied

It's Anti-Bullying Week and it's something that I believe in wholeheartedly. I was lucky enough to not get bullied in school, although kids tried I wasn't the type of person to accept it. Other's aren't so lucky and I'm appalled that the rate of bullying seems to rise each year despite countless campaigns. I wanted to gather accurate statistics for this post so I will be quoting this year's survey by Ditch The Label.

I was shocked to read that within the past year, approximately 1.5 million young people in the United Kingdom have experienced bullying. Half of which haven't told anybody through fear, embarrassment or a lack of faith in support systems. It's highly understandable as to why young people are scared to come forward, but we need to make it evidently clear that there are plans and support in place to help and stop their horrific experiences with bullying. 

Bullying is a unforgettable ordeal and scars many victims for life, with it having a detrimental effect on their mental health. According to Ditch The Label's 2018 survey, from those who have been bullied withing the past 12 months: 50% of those felt depressed, 45% felt anxious, 28% self harmed, and 34% had suicidal thoughts whilst 11% actually attempted suicide.

There was a victims story included in the survey which really got to me. It was by a young 13 year old Female, whose life has been dramatically tainted by constant abuse. This is her story:

"I didn't have any friends, people made fun of how I looked, the amount of food I ate, my grades/levels and my terrible English. At first I didn't really think of it but then it started ringing in my head that I didn't look like the popular girls and I thought that maybe if I was skinny they would be my friends. This later led me into developing an eating disorder and I also started to self-harm. I couldn't stand the way I looked and I still can't. I hate looking in the mirror - it kills me when I see myself."

There are many more statistics and stories on their 2018 Survey. Ditch The Label offer incredible support to young people aged 12-25, and work hard every day in the fight to stop bullying.

To the Bullied,

I am so sorry that you have to endure such abuse. Bullies bully, because they choose to. They bully to give the impression that they're tough. They bully to hide their own fears and insecurities. They bully because they don't like who they are. It has absolutely nothing to do with the person you are. So don't suffer in silence. Speak to someone, because it's them that have issues they need to work out and have things that they need to change about themselves. Whoever is trying to bring you down is already way below you.

That person who is trying to enforce the idea that you're not enough, is actually just destroying their own self. I need you to remember that you're simply a mask for their own insecurities. I need you to remember that you're more than their empty words. I need you to remember that you're enough. That you will always be enough. Just the way you are.

To the Bullies,

You're wrong. You're rude. You're weak. But you're also damaged. I believe that you also need help and support. Well I like to believe that you have underlying mental health issues or severe insecurities, otherwise you're simply a poisonous person. Why do you bully? Do you do it to look cool? To seem popular? To look tough? Do you do it because your "friends" are doing it? Do you do it because you're unhappy with who you are?

Whatever your reason, I need you to stop. I need you to go to a teacher, to a parent or to some kind of support network and I need you to ask for help. I need you to want to change. Pulling someone down will never help how you're truly feeling inside. Instead, you're going to wake up one day, years down the line, and feel empty or angry or numb and you're going to realise that you hurt others, damaged others and pushed people away, and for what?

It's ok to dislike people. I dislike people, sometimes I dislike them for no reason at all and that's ok. What's not okay, is to humiliate them and dehumanise them. Spoken words can't be erased. They will stick with that person for the rest of their life. So please, if you can't be kind then just be quiet.
. . .

Most of us will have witnessed bullying at least once, whether that be name calling, gossiping, exclusion or physical bullying. I know it's difficult to intervene through fear of being victimised, but we have to step forward and speak up. We can't control other people, but we can control our own actions, our choices, our reactions and our future. I don't know about you, but I want to be someone who can look back on my life and know that I stayed true to myself and to my morals; that I showed strength and courage when someone felt weak and powerless.

Love, Han


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