Katie's Diary

Bullying? Recognise, React and Respond

4th December 2013

Anti-bullying month has brought to the attention of everyone the devastating impact bullying can have on peoples’ lives; highlighting the blight it causes, not just to the victims but on those of their loved ones.

ubu as an organization is constantly looking to effectively tackle bullying and protect those most vulnerable in our society.  That is why ubu are calling for their three stages of tackling bullying to be acknowledged as a solution: Recognise, React and Respond.

The dictionary definition of a bully is a ‘blustering, quarrelsome and overbearing person, who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people’. The truth is that bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Most of us will never be the victim of a bully but those who can have their lives devastated.  Continual bullying can be very wearing that in extreme cases some people have become so depressed, felt they have no one they can turn to, or worse had their cries for help ignored and  have taken their own lives.

Society’s role is to support people who are vulnerable and at risk, while at the same time work to change the behaviour of bullies so that they in recognise their actions are wrong and in turn stop their devastating behaviour.

Bullying can be difficult to detect. Many bullies go undetected in society; those responsible for the care and protection of all our citizens may not recognise it is taking place. Sadly sometimes bullying comes from someone the victim believes loves them or is charged with their care.

Dorothy Jarvis, CEO of ubu, is passionate about tackling bullying in society: “At ubu we know that one size does not fit all.  Our uStep settings are tailored around the needs of the individuals we care for and support so that they can become the people they should be rather than remaining as they are”

Vulnerable people, those who care for them and those responsible for overseeing social care can be victims too, in their homes, in society or in the workplace where the bully can be part of a wider network.

Workplace bullying can often have far wider implications than on the intended victim. It can affect all the people around them, be it colleagues who have to compensate for their underperformance, others whose lives they are trying to improve or the staff members family and friends.

Some people, who start out by trying to help a venerable person, either because they are part of that person’s family, a friend, or part of the support team, can begin to believe ‘their way is the only way’ leading to a bullying situation.

While recognition is part of the solution, everyone charged with protecting vulnerable adults must look at effective measures that will safeguard them from becoming victims.   Policies must be established and become part of the DNA of everyone organisation; be it the enabler, the commissioner, or even the family themselves.

It is vital to support the aim of eradicating bullying from the lives of vulnerable adults so that commissioners, enablers and vulnerable adults can positively change their lives and work without fear. Everyone should feel confident to highlight the negative impact of bullying and blow the whistle.  This demands great bravery on the part of the ‘whistle blower’, but the truth is anyone who speaks out against bullying is not a whistle blower but an effective operator.  Society must stand by those brave enough to speak out and support them and the victims rather than excusing bullying as something else.

Dorothy continues, “ubu is working hard with our customers to support them as they achieve their life goals. We want society to recognize that they need protection against bullying in whatever form it takes and work at finding unique solutions to tackle the problem. Everyone has their part to play in tackling bullying and we must all be brave to ‘recognise’ it for what it is, ‘react’ with the correct protective procedures and ‘respond’ in the event they are ignored. We must all walk the walk, not just talk the talk to stop bullying.”

Bullying? Recognise, React and Respond

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