Thoughts

Live Without Bullying

Live Without Bullying is a cause very close to my heart and I’m very proud to have been an ambassador for its TV Campaign. As I know firsthand what it is like to be a sensitive kid, who feels scared and sad (fancy being “petite” and from a broken family back in the 80s!) – and probably, the reason why I have developed to be a such an outspoken woman is partly because, on many occasions, growing up both in school and in family settings, I felt I had no voice. And it is a universal truth that in all kinds of societies, schools, groups and systems, there will always be bullies and people who will push you to your breaking point for no apparent reason… Merely because you stand out a bit more than the usual norm, due to  your skin color, religion, hereditary issues, psychological factors, sexuality, habits, the way you talk, your school grades (either they are too low or too high), your clothes, anything really can be a trigger point for severe psychological or, in some cases, physical attack. And the thing is, bullies are often they themselves traumatized or broken kids – which makes bullying a vicious circle of hurt. We live in a world where we take pride in globalization, unity and bringing people together through apps and social media. Yet, when it comes to bullying, kids are still being harassed, crying over not wanting to go to school, and nothing has really changed….

According to  Dr Antonia Torrens, Educational Psychologist, Head of the Live Without Bullying program and President of KMOP, in Greece alone, 1 out of 3 kids is being bullied, either online or at school on a daily basis. Apart from the current economic crisis, there is also a “society crisis”, as it is not easy for people to digest the speed of vast changes that are happening. Criminality has also increased, which correlates to an eminent bullying trend to harm, rather than just joke or ridicule someone. And unfortunately, cyber bullying has increased – a lot! Bullies are anonymous, kids have become familiar, through “likes”, picture and comment posting, to an iconic reality. They are not aware that the damage caused can be much more severe than an actual physical harm. They don’t realize the danger.

Luckily today, through the Live Without Bullying in Greece, there is a secure support system, eager to give voice and a helping hand or advice, to kids that are experiencing school or cyber bullying. It is an online chat platform, where children aged 10 to 18 years old can have an anonymous and free of charge online chat with a counselor, willing to listen to their problems and help them. Parents of bullied kids or bullies can also contact and communicate the problem, via email, and get advice on how to handle these situations. Teachers can also find a variety of information about bullying on the platform, while training is also provided through a targeted 4 hrs. seminar (groups of 20). It is of great importance to understand that, when it comes to bullying, children need to have someone they can trust, to stand by them and try to find the best possible approach, which suits their personality. Live Without Bullying offers a solution, and can effectively stop bullying incidents, both online and at schools. So, if you read this and you are a victim of bullying or you have a friend, someone close to you who hurts and is scared, know that it is NOT your fault, you have rights and you deserve to be HAPPY. Communicate your troubles, speak up, reach out and contact  http://www.livewithoutbullying.com/

Click see the TV commercial here

 

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