What role does our Parliamentary culture play?
Or our silence about suicides?
Or bystanders silence from fear of the bullies?
Or lack of concerted media action on its reporting of the societal problem?
Or schools or housing managements or workplaces wanting to avoid the spotlight about this crime that leads to death - bullycide - or broken lives?
The media has become aware of its responsibility in wider and more in depth reporting of the shocking suicides and attempted suicides, of the mental distress linked directly to sustained bullying. To its credit, our media is giving this cultural problem wider reporting, perhaps even ditching reports of some rich royal skirts being blown in the wind, as our 'royal' CBC and the print media have often fixated on as what Canadians prefer to know about.
I dedicate this to all victims of bullying many of whom have taken their own lives because our society permits the bullying to thrive. Little Mitchel Wilson’s scarred parents and friends coming on top of all the other bulling deaths including those on Reserves, cause me to prepare this.
I came face to face with another group of victims – seniors and the handicapped – and had already spoken up.
But our culture of bullying includes the political bullying of the poor and the underclass & the suicides on the reserves are a result of our country’s prolonged bullying of the Aboriginals and of those of us who speak up against the political order of bullies.
Cyber bullying is also a very serious social crime and it involves not just kids but also adults – parents, co-workers, politicians. I will comment on this specifically when I update this. Meanwhile, more and more media and organizations are speaking up and this will help to change the passivity toward bullies.
Bullying of kids, seniors, disabled, workers, the poor, new immigrants … represents an epidemic of societal terrorism across Canada.
And this bullying is not only from the richer to the poorer, it also exists within new immigrant communities toward one another, even within families in the same home, from children to their parents who were often sponsored to provide child care. No! Do not ascribe to me, an immigrant, anti-foreigner bias nor should you take this fact and make it a generality to include the loving and respectful relationships that more frequently exist within the newcomers. But also be aware of gender bullying within some newcomers.
Just be prepared to be strong and to speak up about your awareness of specific bullying and not be afraid of being politically incorrect. Yet, expect to get the redding blow so be careful as well.
At schools, speak to your teachers and your parents if you are a victim or a bystander. At the end of this commentary, there are links to how you can be aware of what bullying really is – other than being punched or yelled at. Do not be a silent victim and do not be a complicit bystander.
I have been sickened by the reports of kids, teens and adults who have killed themselves because of bullying. These deaths represent homicides induced by the cowards who bully and the complicity of bystanders - including school boards, principals, politicians, corporations, housing authorities. I have placed myself in danger by refusing to be a passive bystander to invidious bullying within Peel Housing Corporation seniors property and wrote to them.
They appeared responsive and concerned but then I became the target of an odious campaign orchestrated by the main ring leaders fighting in cliques over the control of recreation facilities at the building. Peel belatedly dissolved the Association until new elections [Disclosure: I did NOT run to be part of the executive nor do I wish to do so in the future because of the cultural schisms].
Here is a report from today’s - 28 o9 2011 - Totonto Star – a generally socially activist paper .
Kids not safe from bullying, expert says
In Canada, a child is bullied every 25 minutes in the classroom, and every seven minutes in the playground. Why can’t the problem be stopped
Excerpt from The Star : on 11 year old lad, Mitchell Wilson
“Canada is not doing a good job of addressing bullying so it remains a major problem, says one of the country’s leading experts on the issue.
“Here we are, a country that has an international reputation of being so nice and dealing with issues of diversity, inclusion and equity, and yet at the level of children, we really aren’t doing a good job,” said Professor Debra Pepler of York University, who is also a scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children.
“We are not keeping them safe; we are not providing them with the necessary supports to learn how to live in healthy relationships,” added Pepler, a founder of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), a national network of researchers.
With the recent news of an 11-year-old Pickering boy who killed himself earlier this month — with bullying one of the many factors involved — many now wonder what more can be done.
The parents of Mitchell Wilson say their son, who suffered from muscular dystrophy, began a downward spiral of depression and anxiety following a November 2010 mugging and subsequent bullying by older students at Westcreek Public School.
The 12-year-old boy who’s alleged to have assaulted Mitchell — smashing his teeth into the pavement while robbing him of his father’s iPhone — is scheduled to appear in Oshawa court Wednesday morning. Charges are expected to be dropped since Mitchell can no longer testify …. More at www.thestar.com
Today [update] TheStar's Heather Mallick wrote movingly and lovingly of Jamie Hubley, another recent bullycide victim:
What a shockingly beautiful boy Jamie Hubley was. The ruddy hair, the smokin’ wide grin, that shy downward look — I’m wild and bold but, um, maybe not so much, the look seemed to say — as he sang Lady Gaga’s new song, “Born This Way,” on YouTube.
Jamie was only 15, which is why I’m journalistic ethics-wise allowed to refer to him by his first name, as if he were a friend of mine. And how I wish he had been. This kid could have helped my sadness, I could have helped his, he would have brought credit and affection and candour to everyone who knew him, but now he’s dead, no chance now.
POLITCAL BULLYING SETS THE SOCIETAL CULTURE
Canada’s Justice Minister, Vic Toews is so busy bullying – yes he is a political bully – that he is impervious to this crime that includes many of the middle class and wealthy. It has become a true case of class warfare from the top to the less fortunate. Hon. Toews is focused on criminalizing and jailing more and more children, the poor, mentally ill, Aboriginals – those at the bottom of his strata of elites – and creating jobs for the legal and cop system by a bourgeoning prison industry and lowering the unemployment rate by removing the mostly unemployed to his warehouses for the economically disadvantaged. He will also reduce the number of mentally ill or challenged by the same bullying of the poor and disadvantaged of our society.
Will he act to suppress bullying even if his social strata are a large part of the societal problem? Will all levels of governments act today to fund the programs that are working to change attitudes that succors the insidious societal crime of bullying?
My belief is that our society’s threshold of acceptance of bullying is related to our politicians.
Will YOU stand up and speak out today? As a parent or guardian or grandparent or aunt or uncle, are you ensuring that your own young loved ones are not bullies or silent victims?
Were you or are you a bully and if so are you endangering your own loved ones by allowing them to be bullies?
These are very difficult matters for all of us to confront. Why not reflect inwardly now?
Bullying of kids, seniors, disabled, workers .. represents an epidemic of societal terrorism across Canada. I have been sickened by the reports of kids, teens and adults who have killed themselves because of bullying. These deaths represent homicides induced by the cowards who bully and the complicity of bystanders - including school boards, principals, politicians, corporations, housing authorities.
I have placed myself in danger by refusing to be a passive bystander to invidious bullying within Peel Housing Corporation seniors property and wrote to them. They appeared responsive and concerned but then I became the target of an odious campaign orchestrated by the main ringleaders fighting in cliques over the control of recreation facilities at the building. Peel belatedly dissolved the Association until new elections [Disclosure: I did NOT run to be part of the executive nor do I wish to do so in the future because of the cultural schisms].
Today, I am completing this blog showing resource links to eradicate bullies. Don't be a bystander or victim - speak up as The Star and other media are doing.
My comments include a set of resources links for all Canadians including kids, parents, schools, workers, disabled, seniors assembled by a CTV Edmonton, AB story researcher Pam Lasuita.
Some of the notes below concern an epidemic of bullying of and among seniors in Peel region taken from notes from a very timely and moving talk by Kevin Leet, B.A., RSSW Family Services – PEEL Region, Ontario, Canada, and links from a CTV story researcher [below].
Population demographics are changing, with more focus being placed on seniors and the different issues facing seniors.
Ø Not all issues are appealing or easy to speak about
Ø Tonight, combining two of the issues
Ø Seniors bullying seniors, and elder abuse
We see that the bullies are not only found on the school ground, but in the senior population as well.
The playwright Seneca said “ALL CRUELTY SPRINGS FROM WEAKNESS”.
The weakness mentioned is not the weakness of the person who is being bullied, but the weakness that resides deep in the heart of the person who is the bully.
- ABUSIVE TREATMENT, THE USE OF FORCE OR COERCION TO AFFECT OTHERS.
- AN ACT OF REPEATED AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR IN ORDER TO INTENTIONALLY HURT ANOTHER PERSON, EITHER PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY.
- CHARACTERIZED BY AN INDIVIDUAL BEHAVING IN A CERTAIN WAY TO GAIN POWER OVER ANOTHER PERSON.
· Bullying is a choice. People are well aware of what they are doing.
· Bully knows that the target will most likely not respond to the action taken against them.
· Studies show that bullying desensitizes people to violence in general. It is often the first form of violence most people encounter (school ground).
FORMS OF BULLYING:
Name calling, verbal or written abuse, intentional exclusion from activities, threats, and spreading gossip, comments about ethnicity, use of racism and racist comments, name calling, the silent treatment and laughing at the victim.
MEN AND WOMEN OFTEN BULLY IN DIFFERENT WAY: [says Mr. Leet]
Men: more “in your face” Negative comments said directly to you. Also have a greater tendency to use physical violence.
Women: more passive-aggressive behaviour like gossiping or whispering about someone when they come into the room. The behaviour is more “behind your back”.
Where does it happen most often??
· Homeowners associations, Condo boards and Resident Councils
· Seniors centres
· Retirement and nursing homes
· Senior apartment buildings
· Places where resources are shared such as common rooms, television, dining space and staff attention).
Goes from most able-bodied and down from that point
· Independent, don’t need assistance
· Everyone else comes below: use of walker, may have had a stroke, some dementia
· The weaker you appear, the more likely you are to become a target.
· Aggressive behaviour patterns
· Need to dominate peers
· Need to feel in control
· No sense of remorse at hurting others
· Refusal to accept responsibility for their behaviours
· Feel that they have authority over others
· Loud and aggressive
· Poor social skills and judgment
· Deeply insecure
· Higher risk for alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental health problems
Word NEED is important here…they need to bully others in order to have their own emotional needs met.
Bully often have Antisocial personality disorders
BYSTANDERS ROLE IN CONTINUING THE BULLYING:
· People perceive the bully to have the approval of those present
· Fear speaking out against the bully and the group
· Bystanders eventually see the bullying as normal, thereby becoming witnesses to the injustice and abuses
· The bully does count on the bystander apathy.
Bystanders silence is taken by the bully as a show of support. Some say nothing out of fear of becoming a target of bullying themselves.
IS SENIOR BULLYING ELDER ABUSE??
Yes, falls under emotional, psychological and verbal abuse. In some instances, can cross the line into physical abuse.
Abuse is about power and control. Bullying is an attempt by the bully to have a negative impact on the quality of life and functioning of another person.
Physical acts place the incident under a criminal matter, and the bully can be arrested and charged with assault.
More complaints are coming to the PEASP from nursing homes, retirement communities and senior buildings.
Kevin Leet believes that:
Seniors are the most difficult group to engage in regards to Elder Abuse :
Often times it is a close relative that will put out feelers for the abused person
Upbringing: not the kind of thing that is told to others outside of the family
Second thoughts: Am I misinterpreting the situation?
Shame: I can’t believe that this is happening to me.
Cultural factors: how is abuse perceived and responded to
Social: Fear of being seen as the bad guy, or going against the group
Language of abuse: Elder, Abuse, Victim
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT BULLYING?
Are you a victim? A bystander?
Get your region involved; and do not be bullied by bureaucrats into ‘shutting up’ since they do not want to deal with the possible media outcry. Document the problem and send it to the management or government body and retain copies in case of penalties, even indirect ones, for your whistle blowing.
If the bullying you report as the victim or the bystander results in serious physical or mental health harm, your documentation will serve to prevent injustice and cover-ups.
Just recall the suicides that occur because of bullies who are protected by the silence of bystanders or their active participation.
IF YOU LIVE IN PEEL REGION, ONTARIO:
Get Peel Living on Board:
· They take any kind of abuse as serious. Contact the client representative.
· Document the bullying, including possible witnesses.
· The bully counts on silence. Do not allow that to happen
· Zero tolerance: on the most basic level, it is unacceptable conduct at any age, and cannot be tolerated.
· If you feel that you would like to speak to someone outside of Peel Living, give Kevin Leeta call (905-270-2250 x 238 ). All calls are confidential and information will not be shared with anyone without your written permission.
PEEL ELDER ABUSE SUPPORT PROGRAM
PH 905-278-3141 - FOR MISSISSAUGA & BRAMPTON
PH 1-877-298-5444 - FOR CALEDON
My contact information:
FB john ish ishmael
A COMPREHENSIVE SET OF LINKS TO RESOURCES FOR BULLYING VICTIMS – KIDS, ADULTS, WORKERS, SENIORS, DISABLED…
I thank CTV story researcher Pam Lasuita, with CTV in Edmonton, Alberta Canada for compiling the following links:
Researchers at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, Canada) are looking for targets of workplace bullying in Canada:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/A
Nineveh online Internet forum provides support for targets of bullying in USA and Canada ... click here.
Anti Workplace Bullying Support Group in Vancouver, BC, Canada: we're Karen and Stephen and we're two targets of workplace bullies who have set up a support group in the Greater Vancouver area (Canada) which meets monthly. Our aim is to share information pertaining to laws and regulations in British Columbia (which seems to be at least ten years behind much of the "civilized" world) and raise enough awareness within the province to facilitate a change in attitude. We also wish to offer mutual support, advice help and encouragement for fellow targets of workplace bullying. To join or find out more, please email us at email@example.com, letting us know how we may contact you, which city you are from and, if you like, a bit of background with regards to your bullying experience. We have a web site at http://www.nobullyforme.org/and a forum/board for people with updated articles and health info athttp://p066.ezboard.com/bnobullyforme
New! No Bully For Me Survey: take part in the Canadian No Bully For Me Bullying Survey
Quebec's psychological harassment law explained.
Canada launches a multi-year, multi-media anti-bullying public education campaign
Mobbing - a Canadian perspective
Canadian initiative on Workplace Violence
Legislative Assembly of Ontario Bill 70 2001 An Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to acts of workplace violence [which] means acts of violence that persons commit in a workplace and includes acts of physical or psychological violence, including bullying, mobbing, teasing, ridicule and any other acts or use of words that can reasonably be interpreted as designed to hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. ("violence au travail")
Expanding Financial Liability for “Poisoned Environment”: increased compensation for Canadian employees who suffer multiple human rights violations at the hands of several employees in an inappropriate workplace environment. (Click on "HUMAN RIGHTS")
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Resolution on bullying at work
Worker's Information Center, tel 416-535-9875
Workers Health and Safety Center article on workplace violence
Commission des normes du travail Quebec: Psychological harassment at work
Article Bullying in the Workplace by Lauren M Bernardi at Bernardi Stewart Scholz
Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) case summaries concerning bullying in Canada
How to get hold of your clinical records and how to understand and use them.
Reasonable Alternatives and Just Cause: the Canadian legal position as it applies to harassment and the circumstances under which you are forced to leave your job.
Provincial Psychological Services Ltd provides psychological services for children, adolescents and adults of all ages. See also their links page.
Doors of Hope gives extensive support information for victims of child & adult abuse, domestic violence, sudden death, school violence, bullying etc.
The Lamarsh Centre for Research deals with family violence, aggressive driving behaviour, bullying and victimization in schools, sports and violence, conflict resolution in families, mental health in adult survivors of abuse, and more.
Bullying in the Workplace: employers are beginning to take steps to make bullying as unthinkable as sexual harassment or drunkenness in the workplace.
The Working Centre in Kitchener, Ontario, addresses unemployment, poverty, and the environmental crisis ...and has stocks of Bully in sight.
A Canadian reader reviews Bully in sight
www.bullying.org is an extensive Canadian site including educational resources available for students, teachers & parents. Many informative links including one to CBC who are doing a documentary on bullying asking people in Canada to come forward and share their story.
Health Canada is at http://search.hc-sc.gc.ca/cgi-bin/query?m
Canada Human Rights Act http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/H-6/26172.h
British Columbia (BC) Human Rights Commission http://www.bchrc.gov.bc.ca/home.htm
British Columbia (BC) Human Rights Commission online pamphlet on Workplace Harassment http://www.bchrc.gov.bc.ca/docs/Preventi
More Canadian links on human rights: http://www.bchrc.gov.bc.ca/home.htm and click on Related sites
Ontario Human Rights Commission is at http://www.ohrc.on.ca/index2.htm and their page on human rights at work is at http://www.ohrc.on.ca/english/publicatio
Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission contains information, research and links for teachers and students on human rights and discrimination.
Canadian laws on stalking.
The Law Society of Canada (LSUC) has raised the issue of discrimination / harassment / bullying at http://www.lsuc.on.ca/gazette/gazette_17.s
Ontario's current Premier is anti-worker rights; see http://www.ofl-fto.on.ca/todaysnews/
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (violence in the workplace): http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosoc
The Canadian Injured Workers Alliance.
The Canadian based Coalition Against Abuse in Relationships / Coalition Contre l'Abus dans les Relations has a web presence at www.coalitionagainstabuse.com
Central Committee Against Violence in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, Canada: http://www.geocities.com/committeeagains
Daina Green is a Labour Advisor in Canada, working as a labour consultant. Her web site at http://www.web.net/~dzgreen/index.html has some interesting links.
Edmonton police can ticket bullies under new bylaw: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/03/12/edm
Teachers in Canada are as stressed out as they are in the UK, Australia and USA. A decade of constant change has included resource cuts, the dumping of special needs children in mainstream education without proper support, new curriculum material and increased bureaucracy. All this has resulted in thousands of teachers suffering stress and burnout. The number of teachers in Canada now claiming long-term disability is nearly double the number of nurses and air-traffic controllers, the two other traditionally and increasingly stressful occupations.
Bullies at work: Nancy J White writes in the Toronto Star about bullying at work.
CBC National program on bullying.
No more bullies is a national awareness campaign is a joint effort by the Canada Safety Council and the National Film Board of Canada, with the support of the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention, the Government of Canada's initiative to help Canadians deal with the root causes of crime and victimisation.
GRADUAL DISCIPLINE CAN LEAD TO CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL
A March ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal held that progressive discipline, if unjustified, can be viewed as constructive dismissal.
"Employers should make sure they have all their facts in place before gradually disciplining employees if they want to avoid a constructive dismissal suit" says Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt, a labour and employment lawyer with Lang Michener.
The ruling means employers should investigate performance problems thoroughly before implementing a series of disciplinary actions. And they should give employees a chance to respond before proceeding further.
"When a supervisor wants to discipline an employee, consider first whether that person has a personality conflict or an axe to grind before you allow them to go down that road. Determine whether the problem is legitimate" Levitt says.
Levitt says the ruling in Shah v. Xerox Canada Ltd places the onus squarely on employers to justify their actions against employees.
In the ruling, which awarded Viren Shah damages equivalent to 12 months' notice, the court said the employer's treatment of Shah changed the essential terms of the employment contract. Shah had worked at Xerox for more than 12 years.
Levitt says this case is important because it interprets employment law in a new way by viewing unwarranted and unjustified treatment as constructive dismissal or as a change to the essential terms of a contract. The case focused not on specific terms, but on employer conduct.
The court said the working environment was made intolerable and that constituted constructive dismissal. Levitt says the ruling paves the way for major shifts in the law.
Citizens Against Bullying Association (CABA) of North Alberta, Canada.
Canada's Bullying Awareness Network is an initiative of Child & Youth Friendly Ottawa, that aims to keep citizens who are concerned with bullying updated on news and information.
Safe Schools, Safe Students and the Safe Communities = Safe Schools Coalition in the USA and Canada has an anti-bullying hotline, statistics for which are online.
Bully Beware in Canada are passionate about keeping children safe. They've written two books and produced a video for schools that deal with the issues of bullying.
Stop Bullying Me!
Guide de survie 2000 (Survival Guide 2000) contains links to bullying web sites and organisations.
Girl commits suicide because of bullying ... see article in The Globe and Mail, whilst others see nothing unusual in playground violence - see report in Vancouver Sun.
Have Courage My Love (Lisa Savelli, ISBN 0-9685305-0-8) addresses the issue of bullying and conflict resolution. For teachers and counselors. Azil Books, 41 Tartan Drive, Caledonia, ON N3W 2N3, Canada, Tel 905-765-0211, Fax 905-765-0223.
Jay Solomon's web site: Being bullied? You're not alone!
Hamed Nastoh jumped off a bridge in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver.
Dawn-Marie Wesley, 14 years old, hanged herself in Mission, suburb of Vancouver.
Gilles Moreau, an Edmonton, Alberta teen, who was found dead, face-down in a ditch. See http://www.edmontonjournal.com and search for "Gilles Moreau".
How can I recognise that I'm being bullied?
What is bullying and why me? | Definitions of bullying
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about bullying
Overcoming myths, misperceptions and stereotypes
The answer to Why don't you stand up for yourself?
Bullying and vulnerability
Why have my colleagues deserted me?
What's the difference between bullying and mobbing?
What is harassment and discrimination?
Why grievance procedures are inappropriate for dealing with bullying
The difference between bullying and management
Facts, figures, surveys, costs of bullying | Cost of bullying to UK plc
UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line statistics
Profile of the serial bully - who does this describe in your life?
Antisocial Personality Disorder | Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Paranoid Personality Disorder | Borderline Personality Disorder
Bullies and attention-seeking behaviour
Munchausen Syndrome and MSBP
Information for nurses | Information for voluntary sector employees
Information for teachers being bullied
Bullying of lecturers in further education
Bullying of lecturers in higher education
Bullying in the social services sector
Bullying in the public sector - the political dimension and
why trade unions fail to support their members
Bullying in the military | Bullying of students
Scheduled training and conferences on bullying | Other events about bullying
Articles on bullying available online
Bullying on TV, radio and in print media
Requests to take part in surveys etc | Bullying issues needing research
Tim Field's quotes on bullying | Vision for bullying
Feedback about Bully OnLine | Survivor testimonies
The Secret Tragedy of Working: Work Abuse - PTSD Chauncey Hare
Bullying resources in: Australia | Canada | Finland | France | Germany | Ireland | Sweden | USA
Bully OnLine: Site map | Site index | Site search
Bullying at work (this page) | School bullying | Family bullying
Bullying news | Bullying case histories
Press releases and media centre
Action to tackle bullying | Bullying resources
Stress, PTSD and psychiatric injury | Related issues
Related web pages
The Field Foundation
Bully OnLine Home Page
Books on bullying and psychiatric injury