How to Talk About Bullying
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can:
Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others. Kids need to know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help.
Encourage kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. The adult can give comfort, support, and advice, even if they can’t solve the problem directly. Encourage the child to report bullying if it happens.
Talk about how to stand up to kids who bully. Give tips, like using humor and saying “stop” directly and confidently. Talk about what to do if those actions don’t work, like walking away
Talk about strategies for staying safe, such as staying near adults or groups of other kids.
Urge them to help kids who are bullied by showing kindness or getting help.
Watch the short webisodes and discuss them with kids.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Research tells us that children really do look to parents and caregivers for advice and help on tough decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem. Start conversations about daily life and feelings with questions like these:
What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?
What is lunch time like at your school? Who do you sit with? What do you talk about?
What is it like to ride the school bus?
What are you good at? What would do you like best about yourself?
Talking about bullying directly is an important step in understanding how the issue might be affecting kids. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but it is important to encourage kids to answer them honestly. Assure kids that they are not alone in addressing any problems that arise. Start conversations about bullying with questions like these:
What does “bullying” mean to you?
Describe what kids who bully are like. Why do you think people bully?
Who are the adults you trust most when it comes to things like bullying?
Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were afraid of bullying? What ways have you tried to change it?
What do you think parents can do to help stop bullying?
Have you or your friends left other kids out on purpose? Do you think that was bullying? Why or why not?
What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
Do you ever see kids at your school being bullied by other kids? How does it make you feel?
Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened? What would you do if it happens again?
Get more ideas for talking with children about life and about bullying. If concerns come up, be sure to respond.
There are simple ways that parents and caregivers can keep up-to-date with kids’ lives.
Read class newsletters and school flyers. Talk about them at home.
Check the school website
Go to school events
Greet the bus driver
Meet teachers and counselors at “Back to School” night or reach out by email
Share phone numbers with other kids’ parents
Teachers and school staff also have a role to play.
Effects of Bullying
Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern.
Kids Who are Bullied
Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:
Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
Decreased academic achievement— They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
Kids Who Bully Others
Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to:
Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school
Engage in early sexual activity
Have criminal convictions as adults
Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults
Kids who witness bullying are more likely to
Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
Miss or skip school
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What is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse is just one form of abuse that people can experience in a relationship. Though emotional abuse doesn’t leave physical scars, it can have a huge impact on your confidence and self-esteem. There are a couple of different types of emotional abuse and it might not be noticeable at first. However, if you are being emotionally abused there are a number of things you can do to get support.
This might be a problem if you...
feel like you’re not good enough
are afraid of your partner leaving you
are called names by your partner or they put you down
are afraid, threatened or intimidated
feel like you are going crazy, or feel confused about the truth
Many concerning relationships involve aspects of emotional abuse. The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at a person’s feelings of self-worth and independence. In an emotionally abusive relationship, a person may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without their partner they will have nothing.
Emotional abuse can feel equally as destructive and damaging as physical abuse and can do a terrible amount of damage to a person’s mental health. It's common for physically abusive relationships to also include aspects of emotional abuse as this is how power and control is maintained within the relationship.
Some types of emotional abuse can include:
Verbal - yelling, insulting or swearing at someone
Rejection - pretending not to notice someone’s presence, conversation or value
Put downs - name calling, public embarrassment, calling someone stupid, blaming them for everything
Being afraid - causing someone to feel afraid, intimidated or threatened
Isolation - limiting freedom of movement, stopping someone from contacting other people (like friends or family)
Money - controlling someone’s money, withholding money, preventing someone from working, stealing or taking money
Bullying- purposely and repeatedly saying or doing hurtful things to someone.
Though physical violence is often seen as being more serious than emotional abuse, this is not the case. The scars of emotional abuse are real and long lasting. Emotional abuse can leave a person feeling depressed, anxious and even suicidal, as well as having a negative impact on self-esteem and confidence.
If you are experiencing emotional abuse it is really important that you seek help. Emotional abuse is a really damaging form of abuse even if it doesn’t leave physical scars. There are a number of services which can help if you need someone to talk to. Find out more about what to do if you’re in an abusive relationship.
What can I do now?
Learn more about different types of abuse
Talk to someone who understands abusive and violent relationships
Work on your self-confidence
Call us for help with mental illness, depression help online and suicide prevention we are in Nairobi Upper Hill
Effects of Sexual Assault
Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on a survivor. These effects aren’t always easy to deal with, but with the right help and support they can be managed. Learning more can help you find the best form of care to begin the healing process.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Prolonged feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear can be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Some survivors of sexual assault may use self-harm to cope with difficult or painful feelings.
It’s possible for memories of a past trauma to feel like they are taking place in the current moment.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
STIs can occur during any sex act, even if this contact was unwanted or forced.
Feelings of sadness and unhappiness that have a negative impact on your life could be a sign of depression.
There are a number of reasons that survivors report using substances like alcohol and drugs.
Other reactions and effects of sexual assault:
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We don’t just help people who’ve recently been a victim of crime – we are here to support both men and women weeks, months and years afterwards.
Our services are confidential, free and available to anyone who's been abused in the past. We can help, regardless of whether you have told the police or anyone else about the attack.
We won’t tell other people – including your family or the police - about what happened to you in the past unless you want us to, or unless you’re somehow in danger now.
If you don't want to see anyone face-to-face, you can also talk to us on the phone or by email.