5 Reasons to Document Bullying

Bullying, especially of the psychological and emotional variety, is difficult to prove to people in authority who can help the target. There are several reasons for this:

1. Bullies are Master Seducers (Charmers).

Bullies know how to charm the right people. When the target finally gets fed up and reports the bullying, the bully will often make the target look like the bully. The bully does this by convincingly rationalizing and justifying the behavior. Therefore, the staff is likely to either ignore the targets pleas for help, or blame them.

The bully will also use high marks, excellent grades, and class/work performance to charm and influence those in authority.

Bullies can also use good looks, impeccable dressing, and grooming to seduce others. Called the halo effect, this phenomenon is where those who look the best are the most trusted and respected by others.

2. Bullies are Convincing Liars and Actors.

They have a flair for spreading the most convincing rumors and lies. Bullies do this to convince others not to associate with the target. Therefore, the target loses support and has no one to turn to for help.

Because the victim often reacts out of emotion, the bully puts on a calm and collected demeanor. Therefore, people in authority will almost always side with the bully because of this false coolness the bully displays.

The bully points out the target’s perfectly normal emotional reaction and twists everything to convince everyone of the target’s guilt. He will portray the target as unstable, crazy, overly dramatic, or too sensitive. The bully will also feign victim-hood by bursting into tears. Understand that this is all designed to shift the blame onto the real target. Therefore, the bully wins bystanders and authority over to her side.

The most seasoned bullies are also master wordsmiths who can explain away and rationalize any bad behavior. They can spin a story that is so convincing that teachers and supervisors will find it hard not to believe it. In the end, the target gets the blame, and either those in authority either refuse to discipline the bully, or punish the target instead.

3. Documenting (or Journaling) offers the disgraced target a voice, enabling them to have a say when no one else is listening.

As stated, the target often gets the blame when he/she reports harassment to the people who can help them. By documenting the abuse, the target can tell their side without anyone ignoring or trivializing their experiences.

4. Documenting offers Victims a Legal Record of the Bullying.

If the bully hurts the target badly enough to require medical attention, a plaintiff can use the journal as proof in court. Documentation is admissible in court.

5. Documenting is very cathartic and therapeutic.

It allows the target to express the emotions they could never show any other way. Journals cannot trivialize the target’s experiences, nor can they invalidate her in any way. Journals are also confidential. They cannot go to the bullies nor anyone else and repeat what the target tells them.

These are the reasons you absolutely must document every day about what bullies put you through. When you document, be sure to include who the bullies are (full names and, if necessary, titles and positions). Also, jot down where each incident happened (school locker room, gym, the bathroom at work, etc.). Include the names of any bystanders and teachers/supervisors present. Moreover, write down the exact time and date the incident happened, what happened, and who said or did what. If possible, write down why it happened (was the bully retaliating because you reported prior harassment?). Write down every detail!

If you have tried telling a staff member or your parents about how classmates or coworkers bully you, only for them to silence or blame you- document it. If no one will listen or offer support, you owe it to yourself to create a written record of the bullying and harassment.

You want to document every day to establish a pattern of bullying and abuse. It was how I survived those six long years of being bullied in school. It was the only outlet I had. I can attest to you that if I hadn’t documented everything in my journal every day, I might not be alive today. When I began keeping a written record during the eighth grade, it was freeing, and I felt that I was finally having my say.

So, if you can’t talk about it, write about it!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

2 Ways to Get Solid Proof of Bullying

Though we know bullying exists, it’s one of the hardest things to prove. I’ve preached about documentation and the 5W Rule (What, Who, When, Where, and Why) in past posts. It’s still THE best way to get your evidence.

However, there are other ways of getting evidence that I haven’t mentioned- proof that, when coupled with documentation, can give you a solid case against your bullies and the facility that allows the bullying to go on. And, the more evidence you have, the better.

You can also use recording devices, hidden body cameras, and spy cameras. Unfortunately, this is a slippery slope depending on what state or jurisdiction you live in. Some states and jurisdictions have a Two-Party Consent Rule, and others have a One-Party Consent Rule.

Two-Party Consent Rule – is when two parties must know about the recording and consent to it- those two parties are you and the person or persons you’re recording.

One-Party Consent Rule – is when only one party must know about the recording- that party being YOU.

So, in a One-Party state, you can wear a hidden camera or recording device or have one on you, make all the recordings you want, secretly, and the evidence would be admissible in court. You could still make a secret recording in a Two-Party state, but it would be best if no one catches you with it, and it wouldn’t be admissible in court. You could still keep it for your records.

Yes. I feel the frustration of those who live in a Two-Party state, and I agree with you; it’s a bogus law. Nevertheless, it’s still the law. As I said earlier, you could always record evidence of the bullying, but you’d be doing it at your own risk, and there might be legal consequences if someone catches you with it at school or work.

You could record it, and if nobody catches you, you could take it home and plaster it all over social media. However, this isn’t advisable either because bullies watch their target’s social media pages like hawks. If you go this route, it’s best to join a few private anti-bullying groups and only share the video with them. Only then will your bullies not be able to see what you’re doing.

There are loopholes in any law, but the trick is to find them. And, if you don’t know whether you live in a one-party or two-party area, look up the laws in your state or jurisdiction.

Understand that documenting is your first line of defense. However, coupled with video evidence, it can only make your evidence that much stronger and almost ensure a slam-dunk in court.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Schools Will Never Admit it. Here’s Why Many of Them Protect Bullies.

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If you’re bullied in school, you must go through the proper channels by reporting the bullying to teachers and the principal. It’s only legal. But sadly, when a student is bullied and reports the abuse, many schools will protect the bullies instead of holding them accountable for their bad behavior.

Here’s why:

1. Because the bullies have connections to local politicians and crime kingpins. (This is especially true in small towns)

2. Because the bullies often score high academically, which makes the school look good.

3. The bullies are athletes on the school sports teams.

4. The bullies are on the cheerleading squad and in sororities and fraternities.

5. The bullies suck up to faculty to win loyalty.

Understand that, right or wrong, many schools will go out of their way to protect the reputations of who they deem to be their brightest and best students and blame the targeted student for their bullies’ horrid behavior. These bullies make the school look good.

Schools have enormous power, and sadly, many parents of bullied kids are single and raising children on one paycheck. How do they fight against such powerful entities?
This is why Sovereign Immunity for schools must be abolished, and they must be held accountable if the child is maimed, murdered, or commits suicide.

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Moving a target of bullying to a different school sounds like a good idea but is not always feasible. And homeschooling isn’t affordable for some of these moms and dads.
If you’re a parent who’s fighting to keep your child safe and your options are limited, the only way to stay in the fight is to keep speaking out- through word of mouth, social media, the news media- whatever it takes.

In this situation, DOCUMENTATION IS SO IMPORTANT!!!!!

Take steps to raise awareness and be there for your child. Reassure them that if they need to talk, you’re there to listen and give them a shoulder to lean on.

Encourage your child to document every bullying incident and do your own documentation. Use the 5W rule- (What, who, where, when, and why) document what happened, who was involved and the names of any bystanders and witnesses, where it happened (bathroom, locker room, hallway), when it happened (exact date and time), and why it happened (retaliation, etc.).

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As a parent, write about any physical bruises you see when the child comes home from school. Write about any torn clothing, broken eyeglasses or hearing aids, stolen property, crying, your kid’s emotional state- everything! And jot it down in detail!
Document the school’s reaction to any reports of bullying, both yours and your child’s.

Save any emails, replies, and letters from the school.

Build your own case!

Only then will you have the ammo needed to fight it!

 

9 Ways for Target’s of Bullying to Reclaim Their Power

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Bullying can seem like the fight of your life and an unwinnable battle. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are 9 ways to reclaim your power and keep the bullies at bay:

1. Document incidences of bullying. I can’t stress this enough! You must keep a record of the intimidation you suffer. When you document, use what I call the 5W Rule: What, When, Who, Where, and Why.

Write down every incident in detail! Include the date and time it happened (when), what happened, who was involved, the names of any bystanders and authority members (students, teachers, coworkers, supervisors, managers, etc.), where it happened and why it happened.

When you document, not only will you discover a pattern, you will have evidence to take to the principal’s office, school board, Human Resources, EEOC, the police, or to court.

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2. If you live in a one-party consent state, wear a body camera, or hid a digital recorder somewhere on you. Coupled with documentation, this can give you a slam dunk case! By recording the bullying, the people who can stop it might as well have been there to see it.

3. Counter the bullies’ negative statements. If you counter the comments instead of ignoring them, you’ll feel so much better about yourself, knowing you took a stand. If the bully calls you a name, just come back with, “Oh, I see you have a nose for your own,” or, ”It takes one to know one.”

Any comeback is better than none at all, and it shows you have confidence and that you value yourself enough not to take the abuse.

4. Say, “NO.” If you don’t want to do something, no law says you have to. Never be afraid to say “no.” And when you do, say it with a strong, confident voice and walk away. Setting boundaries is crucial when bullies come calling.

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5. Take care of yourself. Self-care is of the utmost importance when you’re a target of bullies. Do the things that you enjoy most. Keep company with only the people who value you. Practice and display your God-given talents and gifts. Doing these things will buffer the hits to your confidence and self-esteem and minimize any damage.

6. Befriend other targets. I promise you. You’re not the only one who gets bullied. There are always a few others who share your pain. Find them, get to know them, and befriend them. Then, band together and make sure you all have each other’s backs. Make double-sure that they have yours!

7. Look your best. Because when you look good, you feel good! Looking good can also buffer your self-esteem from the attacks of bullies.

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8. Practice good posture. Posture is important! Stand up straight and with your shoulders back. Walk with a purpose and with confidence. Never look down! Never hunch!

Looking down and hunching shows a lack of confidence and low self-esteem, which will only make you a bully-magnet.

9. Speak confidently. Always speak with a strong tone, never in one that’s low and timid.

You may need a little practice at first. But the more you practice and the longer you do it, the more it will become like second nature.