Anti-Bullying Week 2020
Today, online bullying can be difficult to identify and with the new normal, it’s even more pervasive. I know that the effects of Bullying can be so detrimental to your wellbeing. I’ve supported friends who have been bullied and it can be so difficult watching someone you care about be victimised and hurt. So, it’s really important that we continue to have these conversations and continue to act where we can.
I spoke to some student officers about their experiences of bullying, and this is what they said:
“I had experienced bullying for 16 years of my life – including in person and cyber bullying. Thankfully, it ceased at university, but the long-term effects are still present today. From social anxiety to depression and self-image issues, bullying has done a lot of damage. However, friends and mental health services have really helped me work on overcoming the negative effects of bullying and pushes me to ensure that I do not remain silent if others happen to be going through it.”
“Bullying doesn’t just affect you in the moment, it can have lasting consequences that are hard to overcome. I was bullied by students on my course that I had never even spoken to. It left me feeling anxious, confused and knocked my confidence. The biggest impact on my mental health wasn’t in the moment when they were making fun of me, it was later on when I was left doubting myself and constantly wondering what I had done wrong. It left me with such little confidence, I struggled to go into public places without feeling like I was going to panic. Eventually, the bullies forgot about me, but I didn’t forget about them. I had to spend a lot of time rebuilding my confidence and it has not been an easy task. I still have days where I am filled with self-doubt. But because of my experience, I now know I am not defined by the opinions of others and understand that being kind to yourself is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself and your mental health.”
With everything going on in the world today, it is important once we recognise these behaviours, we do something about it. If you feel like you are being bullied or know someone who has been, the University has a resource called the Harassment Contacts who are trained volunteers that provide support for students (and staff) who feel they have experienced bullying. You can reach out to the Harassment Contacts here: Harassment Contacts.
If you are experiencing bullying of any form, please report it to the SUSU Report and Support Tool at susu.org/support.
Last year, one of the key messages of Anti-Bullying Week was online bullying and sexual harassment, including revenge porn. And that message is just as relevant today. To find more information on how to get support, please visit revengepornhelpline.org.uk. This year, the Revenge Porn Helpline has moved to email only due to Covid-19 but this service is still available if you feel like you’d benefit from it.
VP Welfare and Community