We often hear the expression, “It takes a village.” Too often, I see the devastation left behind by bullying, harassment, and abuse. Those who have suffered will always carry the scars. The scars can be lack of self worth, self confidence, and withdrawal from society. We hear of the ones who do not survive, taking their own lives to end the hurt. In many cases they are teens, more susceptible because of their lack of life experience, which might have shown them who they really are.
The ‘village’ is on both sides of this issue. Bullying, harassment, and abuse does not happen in isolation. There is a ‘village’ of people who are witness to this and it is their responsibility to step up and try to change the scenario. Just like there are no innocent people in the middle of a riot, there are no innocent people who are witnessing abuse or bullying. They may feel they can’t intervene themselves, however, they can report it to someone who can.
On the other side, the ‘village’ is the support needed to heal, once the person is stable and accepting. This is sometimes difficult because of the resulting lack of trust, self esteem, and self confidence but they need to know that the ‘village’ is there. There journey back from the abuse and bullying will be slow and it is important that the support is consistent.
Many times, they have had to leave their employment, their surroundings, sometimes their families. They may have had to seek refuge for themselves and family members to avoid abuse. It may be a long road before they are able to support themselves.
If you see bullying or abuse taking place, no matter where it is, take action. Be part of the ‘village’ that supports.
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