Each year during the third week of November, the Alberta Government raises awareness of bullying since it impacts 47% of Canadian youth and 40% of Canadian workers. Bullying has extremely negative impacts on victims' lives, usually leading them to withdraw from social activities and groups as well as develop feelings of anger, embarrassment, shyness, and unhappiness.
This year's theme is #WhereToTurn, which is intended to encourage everyone to learn about what resources are available to turn to when dealing with bullying since it can be challenging to overcome alone.
What is Bullying?
Bullying occurs when somebody — either a friend, coworker, or family member — purposely uses mean, cruel, or hurtful behaviours repeatedly to gain power within the relationship. Bullying comes in numerous forms, but the most common types are verbal, physical, social, and online/cyber.
Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading rumours, threatening, making negative references to one’s culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, unwanted sexual comments
Physical: Hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving, coercing, destroying or stealing belongings, unwanted sexual touching.
Social: Mobbing, scapegoating, excluding others from a group, humiliating others with public gestures or graffiti intended to put others down.
Online/Cyber: Using the internet or text messaging to intimidate, put-down, spread rumours or make fun of someone.
You can read more about the types of bullying and how to recognize these behaviours here.
What should I do?
According to Bullying Canada, here are the actions you can take whether you're a victim, bystander, or bully.
Tell someone you trust – a teacher, coach, guidance counsellor, parent
Ask for help
Say something complimentary to the bully to distract him/her
Stay in groups to avoid confrontation
Use humour to throw off or connect with your bully
Pretend that the bully isn’t affecting you
Keep reminding yourself that you are a good person and are worthy of respect
Instead of ignoring a bullying incident, try:
Tell a teacher, coach or counsellor
Move toward or next to the victim
Use your voice – say “stop”
Befriend the victim
Lead the victim away from the situation
Talk to a teacher or counsellor
Think about how you would feel if someone bullied you
Consider your victim’s feelings – think before you act
Who can I reach out to?
Bullying Helpline: 1-888-456-2323
Texting Helpline: 1-877-352-4497
Family Violence Info Line: 310-1818 to get help anonymously 24/7 in more than 170 languages
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-KIDS (5437) for help 24/7
Alberta Provincial Abuse Helpline: 1-855-4HELPAB (1-855-443-5722) for assistance in more than 100 languages from 7:30 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday
Protection for Persons in Care Reporting Line: 1-888-357-9339
Mental Health Helpline: 1-877-303-2642 for mental health advice 24/7
HealthLink: Call 811 to find health care and get health advice 24/7