There are many forms of bullying; most people will think about a kid’s lunch money being taken from them on the playground. Unfortunately this is not the only scenario where bullying occurs – it can happen just about anywhere. Not only is it still happening in the schools, it is also a problem at the workplace, within certain corporations such as insurance companies, online, and even via text messaging.
In all cases of bullying (school bullying, employment bullying, workplace bullying, insurance bullying, online bullying, text bullying) the aggressor dominates the person in a way that can leave the individual feeling helpless, or in extreme cases hopeless. The psychological damage that happens can lead to low self-esteem, aggression, and severe depression where the victim becomes isolated, and may attempt to or succeed at committing suicide.
Jack Buckley, the Commissioner of The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), recently presented results from a survey that was conducted by almost 6500 students who reported bullying from ages twelve through eighteen. Buckley said. “We’re pleased to contribute data and information that assist policymakers, as well as researchers and practitioners at the federal, state, and local levels, in making informed decisions about this serious issue.”
The NCES reported that most bullying takes place throughout the grades of middle school, stating that emotional is the most prevalent form of bullying, and then the physical harassment of kicking, pushing, and things like tripping follows.
Cyber bullying is also a problem and can happen at any age, but children are more susceptible to the negative long term effects. This form of bullying is not limited to just the internet, there is harassing text messages, humiliating posts placed on social media sites, and threatening emails; basically cyber-bullying can be done by any kind of digital technology.
A federal government website called Stop Bullying is an outreach site that supports students who may be having these experiences. They teach how to recognize the warning signs and how to get help. It is important that if you or someone you know has a child who is the bully, or is a victim of bullying that appropriate action is taken to stop the behavior. If an adult harasses a child this brings things to a whole other level and law enforcement should be contacted immediately.
Another area of bullying would be one that occurs at the workplace. The impact that this treatment has can be devastating. The person who is experiencing the abuse could suffer from similar side effects as does those who fall victim of school bullying. They could become depressed, have anxiety, and low self-esteem; they may have physical upsets like nausea, insomnia, and other digestive problems.
Bullying at the workplace tends to be by an individual with authority and/or status, but it doesn’t stop there, it could happen between bi-lateral co-workers. Shouting, cursing, name calling, being spoken to in a condescending manner are all forms of verbal abuse. Playing jokes, making fun and humiliation is harassment; this behavior should not be tolerated!
Workplace bullying usually leads to high turn overs of employees and can be costly for the company. The cost of hiring, drug testing, and training quickly adds up. If the company gains a bad reputation it can lose business with low productivity.
Most companies have some sort of Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment Policy in place. If you or another person is a victim of workplace bullying you/they should seek help. Usually Human Resources or upper management handles these types of complaints.
The Healthy Workplace Campaign is a volunteer based network who is involved in bringing awareness to the workforce, and the home of the national legislative movement which is trying to accomplish an anti-bullying bill in all states to create a healthy workplace for all.
Finally and sadly, companies themselves can act as bullies. The American Association for Justice did a report on the top ten worst insurance companies. Surprisingly some of the most popular companies were on the top of the list; Allstate, Unum, AIG, State Farm and Conseco being the first five.
Most complaints were in regards to the companies continuing to raise premiums, refusing insurance to certain individuals, and denying or delaying the payments of claims. Some companies are trained to find reasons to deny claims, or ways to delay payment keeping the payout to a minimum so that profits remain high.
There have been bills passed in some states to help protect the consumer from this type of bullying. Insurers are to conduct business in a fair manner. States are also being encouraged to establish an Insurance Consumer Advocate who will act as an authorized representative in regards to matters being presented to the Insurance Commission.
Unfortunately bullying is an ongoing problem and no one is immune to it. If it happens to you, the quicker you seek help and alert the proper authorities, the less damage will be done and the bullying can be put to a stop!
Lindsay Rakers is a Missouri and Illinois attorney working to stop bullying across the nation but specifically in the following local communities – St. Louis Missouri, Jefferson County Missouri, Springfield Missouri, Columbia Missouri, Decatur Illinois, Springfield Illinois, Edwardsville Illinois, O'Fallon Illinois, Belleville Illinois, Bloomington Illinois.