This post about bullying came from a thought a few weeks back. It will compare and contrast it with other types of serious social issues such as: domestic violence and child abuse. There is more done about the latter for whatever reason. There used to be more done about bullying, but somehow our society seems to be tolerating it–or something. Of any public violence scenarios more is done about sexual harassment (though not enough) rather than other kinds of public abuse such as bullying.
When I was growing up, I used to hear more about child abuse and domestic violence more often. Now you don’t hear about it as much and people being against it. Nowadays, you only hear about it if happens.
I can also add that members of my family were victims of domestic violence. I am fortunate it didn’t happen in my home. There has also been child abuse, but not of the physical sort; rather, it was psychological and emotional. Again, this was by other members of the family, but not myself. I don’t have an abusive husband–I was very choosy who I married. If I had been in such a situation, you can play the song “Gunpowder and Lead” if the law let me down and my life was in danger. My family would also intervene; my dad and my grandfather would definitely do something about it.
The logical part of my brain has been comparing and contrasting domestic abuse with bullying. Someone out there could have already pieced this together, but I don’t know of him/her. This post is my own personal observations and thoughts.
How Are They Similar?
- Bullying and domestic abuse doesn’t always have to be physical. Psychological and emotional trauma can be just as extreme and debilitating. Whatever happens can lead to long term damage and social implications.
- They both can lead to death whether it is murder or suicide.
- They both can have those same feelings of isolation, helplessness, depression, anxiety, and trauma.
- Both may need others to intervene for the victim if the situation is way out of control. Sometimes there is a risk to the victim if they try to handle it on their own.
- Domestic abuse is actually just another form of bullying. Howbeit more extreme.
- Bullying is another type of abuse.
How Are They Different?
- Where they take place: domestic abuse takes place at home and bullying takes place in public. You can almost say that bullying is “public abuse” or “public violence”.
- Bullying can take place on the Internet (subform: cyberbulling). Domestic violence does not. Victims of domestic violence normally will have little or no access to the Internet and the “bully” has control over the victim’s access.
- Who is involved. In “public violence peers, strangers, or the public is responsible. In the domestic sense it is usually done by a family member(s). In this case the domestic setting can be more extreme in that you are being “bullied” by someone you are supposed to love or trust, not strangers. You also have to live with the bully–you are supposed to be safe at home, right? You get it when you get home, not after school or on the bus the next day.
- Number of people involved. “Public abuse” can have as little as one, but as many as hundreds; domestic violence is usually one or two, but other family members can “pitch in” in some cases.
- As of right now, domestic violence has more programs for victims and public awareness and support against it–bullying not so much right now–maybe soon. Abusers can be put in jail, although it presents a dangerous situation for the victim once the abuser gets out. He or she has to move away and/or other drastic measures for their safety. It’s like the trial situation in “How Grownups Fail the Bullied”. It’s the same kind of thing if government and law enforcement get involved in bullying.
So from these conclusions I can say that public intervention and public awareness are the best weapons against bullying of all types. Laws, law enforcement, and prosecution are not really necessary in “public violence”, and a last resort unless there is a death–God forbid. It will only get that far if communities stand around and do nothing and remain inactive spectators.
Want to know more about how community intervention can help bullying? Read this article by Huffington Post about bullies attacking an elderly bus monitor and the public acting. The next week Ms. Klein went on the air to talk about the incident.
Next week is my last post on the bullying. Then were back for more backwood fun and humor and “book related stuff”.