LEVEL 2: SAFETY – PROTECTION FROM ELEMENTS, SECURITY, ORDER, LAW, LIMITS, STABILITY, FREEDOM FROM FEAR.
This is a biggie! In any bullying situation, no matter how big or small, safety is always at risk…always! Bullying is now considered a health and safety issue by the CDC in Atlanta and rightfully so!
When a person is bullied, whether in school, work, home or the community, that person is clearly NOT safe in that particular environment. And they KNOW they aren’t safe. When a person is bullied, they often become vigilant and their time and energy, which should and would, under normal circumstances, be spent focused on lessons, studies, projects, job performance and other priorities in life, is instead spent focusing on ways to be and stay safe!
How can anyone engage and work effectively and successfully, when they’re constantly stuck in fight or flight mode and being singled out for abuse? They can’t! It’s next to impossible! This is why bullying is so sinister and so devastating, it doesn’t only negatively affect life at school or work (the environment in which the bullying is taking place), bullying has a way of permeating all other areas of your life as well!
Therefore, when you are a victim of bullying, you are anything BUT safe! All sub-levels of levels of safety are violated and all levels in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs risk being denied you.
A. Protection from elements- I once knew a boy who was stripped down to his underwear and tied to a flag pole in below-freezing temperatures! Bullies denied this boy this protection!
B. Security- When you are bullied, there is no security! Denial of Security or sense of! Of course this goes without saying.
C. Order- Where there is bullying, there is no order!
D. Law- Oftentimes, the law is ineffective for targets of bullying. Because bullies have a knack for flying under the radar and the majority of people are still ignorant to bullying and it’s affects, the victim often either is ignored or worse…gets the blame! Denial of Law and Justice!
E. Limits- Bullies have no limits! I repeat! There are no limits to what bullies will do to harm you! As the bully grows more emboldened, the abuse will escalate! There have been a few victims, whom have been murdered by their bullies! Just google the case of Amy Joyner-Francis, of Delaware, who was brutally murdered by her classmates in the girl’s bathroom. No limits mean a denial of a break or reprieve from the abuse!
F. Stability- There is no stability for victims of bullying. Being bullied is equal to being trapped on a roller coaster with no way to get off! In most cases of bullying, the abuse will escalate and lessen…build, reach a peak, then seem to lull from a time until the next attack! Also, it can destabilize the victim as well! Denial of stability in life!
G. Freedom from fear- This is a no-brainer! Bullying and fear go hand in hand! Fear is what bullies thrive on! It is their motivation and is what they use to, in essence, keep the victim on lock-down in a prison of deplorable treatment! Fear-tactics are often employed by the bully to keep the victim from speaking out about the abuse, discourage the victim from standing up to the bully, undermining his/her perceived authority, exposing the bully’s evilness to others or comply with the bully’s demands!
When you are a victim of bullying everything is fair game for denial! Stay tuned for the next post on Level 3- Love and Belongingness.
(to be continued…)