Sunday, May 22, 2016

Community Safety Rumour Spread Bullying Female Aggression "Then the rumours; that I was a ‘slut’ When your high school bully becomes famous July 17, 2015 LAUREN INGRAM news.com.au Bullying at School Workplace Bullying Gender Equality Social exclusion has been demonstrated to be the worst form of bullying [92]. In extreme forms it has been linked to suicide [206]. Edith Cowan University, May 2009



Social exclusion has been demonstrated to be the worst form of bullying [92]. In extreme forms it has been linked to suicide [206].

Edith Cowan University, May 2009



"Then the rumours; that I was a ‘slut’ and had slept with number of guys (never mind that I hadn’t even had my first kiss yet)."

"The whispers spread and girls 
would give me looks in the hall, or call me names. 
I stopped being friends with her clique, but the bullying didn’t stop;"

"Other friends from the same group weren’t allowed to speak to me, or they risked facing her wrath."

"As any teenager will tell you, around the age of 12 tight cliques of friends tend to form among girls; even more so in single sex schools, like the catholic all-girls school I attended from years seven to 12. 

The world of Mean Girls wasn’t too far off of my experience growing up, with tribes forming and bullying commonplace."

"Many childhood bullies continue their bullying behaviour as adults as well; a parliamentary report into workplace bullying found that one in three adults had experienced some form of bullying at work."





When your high school bully becomes famous


Lauren Ingram’s bully has recently become famous, and it’s bringing back horrible memories.
IT’S been 10 years since I was horribly bullied in high school, but it’s all come back to me like a slap in the face.
As any teenager will tell you, around the age of 12 tight cliques of friends tend to form among girls; even more so in single sex schools, like the catholic all-girls school I attended from years seven to 12. The world of Mean Girls wasn’t too far off of my experience growing up, with tribes forming and bullying commonplace.
This isn’t groundbreaking. More than a quarter of students in years four to nine experience regular bullying.
But my bully has recently become famous, featuring on a reality TV show. Her face keeps popping up in my Facebook feed, and the feelings have come flooding back.
She was the self-declared leader of my group of friends in year nine. Tall and loud, she could be more brutal than you imagine is possible for a 15-year-old girl. We were a large group of friends, and one person in the clique was always out of favour with her. It was inexplicable why she would turn on someone; she seemed to pick on those who didn’t worship her as much and isolate them.
With me it started small. First, a weekend movie afternoon at her house where she invited all of our friends but me. Next, snide remarks about my appearance or personality at lunchtime, putting me down publicly. Then the rumours; that I was a ‘slut’ and had slept with number of guys (never mind that I hadn’t even had my first kiss yet).
The whispers spread and girls would give me looks in the hall, or call me names. I stopped being friends with her clique, but the bullying didn’t stop; she pushed me into my locker so hard that my head hit the metal and gave me slight concussion. Other friends from the same group weren’t allowed to speak to me, or they risked facing her wrath. I was in tears almost daily, a combination of the isolation, fear of further assaults, and incessant rumours.
Eventually she moved on to another victim, and I was able to go to school and not dread what would happen in the corridors. But here I am, 10 years later and still feeling angry and upset over the events of those six months in year nine.
Lauren has a life she loves, but she still hurts every time her bully pops up in her Facebook feed.
The problem is, of course, that many bullies don’t ever realise, or care, about the effect they have on their victims. There are many tragic stories about young people bullied to the point of taking their own lives, and each time there is an outcry by not a lot of change. Even for those who do not commit suicide, the psychological scars left by years of playground taunts can be immense.
Bullies often never experience any consequences for their actions, while their victims are left trying to recover. A Psychology Today paper in 2013 outlined how children who were bullied were more likely to have physical and mental health problems as they got older than those who did not experience bullying. Many childhood bullies continue their bullying behaviour as adults as well; a parliamentary report into workplace bullying found that one in three adults had experienced some form of bullying at work. It’s a problem we can’t seem to properly acknowledge or address, and the victims are suffering from it.
My bully never apologised, never showed remorse; she just moved on to her next victim. And while I am happy and whole now, working in a dream job as a journalist, with a great group of friends and an amazing life, the echoes of being bullied sit with me a decade on when her face unexpectedly pops up in my Facebook feed.

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