Bullying Scars

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The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person. ~ Mary Elizabeth Williams

The Impact on Adult Life and Relationships

Untitled-1An explosion of research on bullying has raised our collective awareness of the serious impacts it can reading6gifhave on children. No longer do we accept it as an innocuous rite of passage, just a part of growing up that we grin and bear and grow out of later. But do we grow out of it, or are there lingering effects that last well beyond the school playgrounds and lunchrooms?

Is bullying traumatic and, if so, does it last into adult life? Are there life-long consequences or are the effects pretty much shed as people grow? Are some of us more resilient than others? Are there any positive or saltwater-woman5unexpected outcomes as a result of being bullied (or having been a bully) as a child? In an effort to answer these questions, Bullying Scars describes childhood bullying from the vantage point of those victims, bullies, and bystanders who are now adults; the book discusses how lives have been changed, and explores the range of reactions adults exhibit.

The research gathered for this book, through interviews with over 800 people, points out that even adult decision-making is often altered by the victimisation they experience as children at the hands of peers, siblings, parents, or educators.

1058572-nerdy-emoticon-reading-a-bookWritten in an engaging and accessible style that draws heavily from the rich interview data that deLara has collected, this book will be of interest to anyone struggling with the lingering effects of being bullied. Additionally, it is highly relevant to mental health professionals — counsellors, therapists, social workers, clinical psychologists — working with clients who are dealing with these issues.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Bullying: The parameters of the problem into adulthood
  • Chapter 2 “Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome”
  • Chapter 3 Being Different: The Traces that Difference Leaves Behind
  • Chapter 4 “People-pleasing v. Revenge”: Consequences on development of being bullied
  • Chapter 5 “Angry Words Echo in My Brain”: Health and Mental Health Impacts
  • Chapter 6 Consequences in Relationships
  • Chapter 7 “I Am So Self-Conscious”: The Impact of Sexual Harassment
  • Chapter 8 Does Bullying Affect Decisions?
  • Chapter 9 It Comes Home to Roost: Bullying and the Family
  • Chapter 10 “Is There Anything Positive?”: Unexpected Outcomes of Bullying and Harassment
  • Conclusion

Author Information

Ellen Walser deLara, PhD, MSW, is Associate Professor on the faculty of the School of Social Work at Syracuse University. She is also a practicing family therapist with over 35 years’ experience working writingwith children, adolescents, and adults in both school and clinical settings. Her areas of research expertise address child maltreatment, school violence, and bullying from systemic and developmental perspectives. She has interviewed hundreds of teenagers and adults specifically about their secondary school experiences. Dr. deLara’s research has been featured on national and international media including: “The Today Show”; “Dateline”; “The Dr. Phil Show”; The Washington Post; CBC; and National Public Radio.

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Deborah Padgett, Benjamin Henwood, and Sam Tsemberis

9780199989805

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5 Tools That Helped Me Survive A Workplace Bully

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“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

girlWhen I watched the powerful 2012 documentary called Bullied, I cried in recognition, grief, anger and sheer sense of helplessness to stop it.

At the end, there were memorials for children who had taken their lives because of bullying. I wanted to reach through my TV and shake those school principals and parents. I understood the victims and their sense of isolation and despair.

The main difference between children’s bullying and adults’ bullying is that the more “mature” bully leaves no physical scars. After all, there are laws for that!

Having worked in mental health, I’ve seen the other kinds of scars. Unfortunately, I’ve also been victim to them myself.

Years ago, I worked at a children’s charity. The executive director (ED) verbally abused staff. The first time I heard her scream, I thought she was injured and ran into her office. I was shocked when I realized screaming was her way of asking for a file. I was expected to intuitively predict her needs 900x900px-LL-cfaf9244_2fcc5fd1_talkhand-talk-to-the-hand-talk-hand-smiley-emoticon-000673-largeor incur her wrath. Charming.

She looked like somebody’s grandma complete with stuffed toys in her office and cross-stitched frames with statements of kindness and love. Actually, if you are familiar with Harry Potter, she was like Dolores Umbridge with her kitten plates. Except her eyes bulged more.

This ED was revered in the community and at her church as a do-gooder. When people would come to the office to discuss making a donation, she would tearfully gush about how wonderful they were to support the children. After they left, she would call them the most ungodly names saying they were (bad word) cheap.

Why do they bully?

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, bullies are more likely to intimidate and discredit the stronger, more competent people and not the ones who are weaker. Their targets also have different values from their own: including ethics, integrity, fairness and collaboration.

The payback for bullying is that, by discrediting their colleague/subordinate, the bully’s career usually thrives. This was most certainly my ED’s case.

I didn’t leave right away.  I stayed because I loved the cause, got along great with my colleagues and was fearful of being unemployed again. If you’re in that very difficult situation, here’s your toolbox:

Tool# 1: Learn how to speak up.

number1First I asked her to please tell me what she wanted or needed, “one thing at a time.”  Her response was to look at me with disgust and question my intelligence. I repeated that I needed her to be clearer and to remain respectful so that I could help her. The other thing I did was to firmly say “please, do not shout.”

She was shocked that someone would tell her “not to shout.” When she couldn’t deny what had just happened, she would dramatically grab her chest and say that she is a breast cancer survivor from 15 years ago. Then she would whimper that this was “affecting her today.”

When I spoke up, there were times that she would stop for awhile, but she had more experience and endurance at bullying than I did at stopping her. Still, my small successes gave me a temporary sense of control.

Tool #2: Find out the history of the company and who might help

number 2During my interview, I questioned the high turnover of that position. They explained that non-profits can’t pay well enough to keep people. That was a red herring.

It quickly became apparent that she had a long history of bullying. Long-time bullies ALWAYS have people protecting them and making excuses.

One of the board members, who originally interviewed me, told me that it is the fault of the employees for tolerating the behaviours and for staying. I pointed out to her that “nobody stays.”

Out of curiosity, I asked this board member what was great about this ED. It turns out that she had helped them get rid of a “bad” director who was destroying their reputation and ability to raise money. They felt “forever in her debt.”

It was clear no one was going to help the staff. Basically, the ED knew where the body was buried.

When they start blaming the victim, as this board member did with me: GET OUT! The cost of staying is too high.

Tool #3: Learn your legal rights.

number 3It’s hard to take action when you fear retaliation. Because of that same inaction, victims of bullying may have rights they are unaware of.

In my case, I believed that if I quit, I would not be eligible for employment benefits and I needed an income while looking for another job. Clearly, this woman would not give a fair work reference so I felt fearful and stuck.

When my father unexpectedly died, her abuse escalated. I quit and reported her to my provincial Labour Standards with documented events. It turned out there was already a file on her from past victims and I received benefits right away. So check out free legal clinics and get informed.

Two years later, a successor called me saying she had found the detailed letter of resignation I had written to the board. She wanted to thank me for validating her experience.

Until she read my letter to her husband, he thought she was making stuff up. I mean come on: that sweet grandma, devoting her life to a children’s charity — a bully? No way!

She quit after we spoke and, following my recommendations, she also received all her benefits. I also told her:

Tool #4: After leaving a serious bullying situation, take some time to heal!

number 4THIS IS IMPORTANT! Recovery from bullying takes time. Just switching jobs without getting emotionally grounded could be a recipe for disaster. Having worked as a crisis counsellor, I can tell you that there is nothing brave about ignoring your mental health.Don’t play with fire — put some emotional distance, catch your breath and heal. Do not wait for a diagnosis of a burnout, depression or anxiety disorder. You’ll transition better into a new job and increase your future successes.

Tool #5:  Helping others can empower you.

number 5The last time I was bullied at a job, I was very capable of protecting my well-being and helping other targets. Although I am no longer there, I know that I made a difference for my colleagues by supporting and guiding them. I was able to stay calm while properly alerting her superiors to her specific behaviours.

I eventually left for greener pastures, but even after I left she couldn’t burp without the hierarchy taking notice. Eventually she left and my old colleagues remain beyond thrilled.

Article by Monique Caissie ~ Educational Speaker, Consultant and Executive Coach ~ April 13, 2016


Check out this New B.P Extra

This Cork duo’s anti-bullying song will touch your heart

Bantry singer and special needs assistant Claire Hayden is determined to raise awareness of the effect bullying has on children. So, Claire composed a song and recorded it along with 15-year-old student Becky Phillips.

The result is an online hit with 7,000 views on Youtube and counting in just over two weeks and 20,000 on other media. The lyrics portray a young girl tormented by bullying and a mother desperate to help, with Claire and Becky’s voices intertwining beautifully. The pair hope the song will be picked up by a charity and raise some cash for good causes.

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People worldwide rock pink clothing to bring awareness to bullying and discrimination

Thinking pink to end bullying


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Recent Developments in Ontario in Employment and Human Rights Law

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There were two interesting developments in Ontario this month in employment and human rights law, another step forward for Human Rights in Canada.

 Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act

smilie-trueBill 132 received Royal Assent. Important to our employer clients in Ontario are
the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Bill 132
now expands the definition of “workplace harassment” in the OHSA to include:

  • Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker
    in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be
    unwelcome; or
  •  Workplace sexual harassment

Bill 132 clarifies that reasonable action taken by an employer in managing or directing the workplace and workers is not workplace harassment.

Bill 132 also specifically defines “workplace sexual harassment” as:

  • Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, general identify or gender expressed, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or
  • Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

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Bill 132 requires employers to develop written programs, which must be reviewed annually, to respond to issues of harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. Further, employers must provide training to their employees on their workplace harassment policy and program.

The changes to the OHSA will come into force on September 8, 2016.

Article by Ritu Mahi ~ published April 14, 2016

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A Personal Summary of my 15 months of Employment with Easyhome {Oct 23, 2014 to January 16, 2016}

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Workplace bullying focus of court case

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Mitchell addressed the issue of costs with criticism directed at lawyers and what he said has become a disturbing trend in the profession that leaves the courts accessible only to people who can AFFORD IT!  “This is a concern not just for the profession but for society as well,” he wrote.

(currently leads to corruption, didn’t I hear the above statement somewhere before) 

5459a4424897349b8adab05da9a1d428A family’s claim that workplace bullying led to Eric Donovan‘s fatal heart attack will proceed through the courts after a successful appeal of the case’s dismissal.

Donovan worked at Queen’s County Residential Services, which is an organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities.

In 2013 he suffered a work-related back injury and about a month later he had a heart attack, Donovan died fewer than two weeks later.

peiHis widow and two children allege workplace bullying caused Donovan stress, anxiety and fear, which led to his fatal heart attack.

Those allegations include that hostile and demeaning statements were made about his work performance, he was forced to work extra hours and he was forced to do unsafe workunif

Queens County Residential Services and Donovan’s supervisor, Nadine Hendriken, are named in the lawsuit that claims damages for losses the family suffered after Donovan‘s death.

The P.E.I. Court of Appeal heard the case after a lower court dismissed the claim saying it didn’t have jurisdiction over the matter.

In a unanimous decision, Justice John Mitchell disagreed judge-smiley-emoticonwith the lower court and overturned the dismissal along with an order for costs against the Donovan family.

Mitchell said lawyers should zero in on the issues on which a case will turn and not over prepare.

“One does not need to build a battleship to do the job of a dingy,” he wrote.

Mitchell also targeted the provincial government, saying it was making the problem worse by taxing legal services, adding fees for court services and increasing old fees.

12549judge_001The tax on legal services is not a tax on lawyers, Mitchell said, and noted $11,731 was paid in HST by one side in this case.

“Access to justice should be the right of every citizen and not turned into a profit centre by the government.”

Mitchell awarded more than $5,000 in costs. SMILEY20DELIVERY

Article by Ryan Ross ~ Published on February 02, 2016

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2016 Wake Up Profitable Boot Camp for Business Owners

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Farmington Hills, Michigan

Monday-Tuesday, April 25-26,2016


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THERE’S NO QUICK FIX TO WORKPLACE BULLYING – THAT’S WHY WE NEED COURAGE

ethics

“The standard you walk by is the standard you accept.” ~ Australian of the Year David Morrison

Studies on workplace bullying suggest as many as 96% of people have been victims, and it leaves a permanent impression. Petrina Coventry outlines some things we can do about it.

Despite increasing measures to combat workplace harassment, bullies remain entrenched in organisations. Changes to law and regulation aimed to stamp out the practice altogether, but instead they have transformed bullying into an underground, subversive set of behaviours. Now hidden, these behaviours often remain unaddressed.

drawing-the-love-sign-smiley-emoticonIn others cases anti-bullying policies can actually work to support perpetrators. Where regulations specify what bullying is some people will cleverly use those rules as a guide to work around. Although these people are no longer bullying in the narrow sense outlined by policies or regulations, their acts of shunning, scapegoating and ostracism have the same effect. Rules that explicitly define bullying create exemptions, or even permissions, for behaviours that do not meet the formal standard.

Anti-bullying rules can help bullies to manipulate without being punished.

749e22b0b3ee4102fdaaaef442a2f74fThese insidious behaviours can remain undetected for long periods of time because they are more difficult to notice or prove. As Kipling Williams and Steve Nida argued in a 2011 research paper, “being excluded or ostracized is an invisible form of bullying that doesn’t leave bruises, and therefore we often underestimate its impact”.

“Ostracism” Consequences and Coping

thumbsOstracism means being ignored and excluded by one or more others. Despite the absence of verbal derogation and physical assault, ostracism is painful: It threatens psychological needs (belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence); and it unleashes a variety of physiological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses. Here we review the empirical literature on ostracism within the framework of the temporal need-threat model. 

the-silent=killers

smileys-cz-7The bruises, cuts and blows are less evident but the internal bleeding is real. This new, psychological violence can have severe, long term effects. According to Williams, “Ostracism or exclusion may not leave external scars, but it can cause pain that often is deeper and lasts longer than a physical injury”. 

This is a costly issue for both individuals and organisations. No one wins. Individuals can suffer symptoms akin to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Organisations in which harassment occurs must endure lost time, absences, workers compensation claims, employee turnover, lack of productivity and the risk of costly and lengthy law suits as well as a poor reputation.

So why does it continue?

continueFirstbullies tend to be very good at office politics, working upwards and attack those they consider rivals through innuendo and social networks. Bullies are often socially savvy, even charming. Because of this, they are able to strategically abuse co-workers whilst receiving positive work evaluations from managers.

Secondly: policies aren’t the panacea they are sometimes painted as. If they exist at all they are often ignored or ineffective. Areport by corporate training company VitalSmarts showed only 7% of workers know someone who used an anti-bullying policy in their defence – for the majority, it didn’t work. Plus, we now know some bullies use policy to craft new and seemingly licit means of enacting their power.

Thirdly: cases often go unreported, undetected and unchallenged. This inaction rewards perpetrators and empowers them to continue behaving in the same way. This is confusing for the victim, who is stressed, unsure and can feel isolated in the workplace, undermining the confidence necessary to report the issue. Because of this, many opt for less confrontational path – hoping it will go away in time. It usually doesn’t.

We always need to be mindful of the possibility one of our colleagues is being subject to unacknowledged bullying.

zipWhat can you do if colleagues are being shunned and ostracised by peers or managers? The first step is not to participate. However, most people are already likely to be aware of this. More relevant for most people is the need not to become complicit by remaining silent. It’s not enough to abstain from being a bully ~ the onus is on you to take positive steps against harassment where you witness it.

Watch Australia’s Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison’s message about unacceptable behaviour, this attitude is the ONLY attitude that should be acceptable for any ethical leader in a professional role, or as General Morrison’s states, “GET OUT” and go do something else with your life!

good-luck-2By doing nothing you allow psychological attacks to continue. In this way, silent witnesses bear partial responsibility for the consequences of bullying. Moreover, unless the toxic culture that facilitates bullying is undone, logic says you could be the next victim.

However, merely standing up to harassment isn’t likely to be a cure~all solution. Tackling workplace bullying is a shared responsibility. It takes regulators, managers and individuals in co-operation with law, policy and healthy organisational culture.

It’s not enough to abstain from being a bully – the onus is on you to take positive steps against harassment where you witness it.

your-wealthOrganisational leaders in particular need to express public and ongoing support for clearly-worded policies. In doing so, policies begin to shape and inform the culture of an organisation rather than serving only as stand~alone documents. It is critical managers understand bullying’s implications for culture, employee wellbeing and their own personal liability.

When regulation fails ~ the dilemma most frequently seen today ~ we need to depend on individual moral character. Herein lays the ethical challenge. “Character” is an underappreciated ethical trait in many executive education programs, but the moral virtues that form a person’s character are the foundation of ethical leadership.

What can we do about it? Challenging workplace bulling takes vigilance, awareness and courage.

A return to character might diminish the need for articles like this. In the meantime, workplace bullying provides us all the opportunity to practice courage.

the-silent=killers

Article by Professor Petrina Coventry ~ Feb 7, 2016 ~ As Industry Professor and Director of Development at the University of Adelaide, specialising in the area of organisational and business ethics. She is also a Vincent Fairfax Fellow.

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Workplace Bullying (The Living Poison)

UN UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Interviewed by DPI
Zeid RaÕad Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is Interviewed by DPI

923004_10151331384711890_1479766938_n20f9964ea1707dee2444c26e68ec775aAs the week progresses I find that my injury is much better today and continues to heal nicely, this sort of sprain should not had happened if I were under the supervision of an ethical management team, a team with leadership abilities, unfortunately I am not. After just over one year with this company I have come to the reality that this will not ever change, a poison company does not start out as such rather the poison is spread over time throughout the company starting in the ranks of management trickling down through the ranks of employee’s creating a poison environment right across the board.


Throughout and over the course of the last 12 years, 2004 to present day how the mobbing started was through “Bribery” which I have witnessed several times from SunGard to Easyhome, whereby a manager or employee has been given money or through vehicle purchases as payment to single out and target an employee(s) which has become a growing problem in Canada and around the world, “Would you trust an employee known to take a bribe?


e0e65bf6e7b87ab2a948e59a65c9ff69If we continue to turn a blind eye and look away, future generations will find hardship and difficulty in reaching a productive and fulfilling life, so are you concerned about your future and your children’s future?, maybe you don’t care because it don’t directly affect you in the present moment but mark my words as the media show that Mental illness is becoming more and more visible in today’s society only to become a greater strain on future generations.


We are talking about a silent war lead by greed and the power to obtain it, but don’t take my word for it after all it’s your world now, I am just waiting for my number to come up. 

UN News Centre: What are the biggest challenges ahead in 2016 for human rights?

Article by Terry.K ~ posted January 20, 2016 

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