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Why do bullying victims not speak up?

The evil of bullying runs rampant in today’s world. It has become prevalent to the point where we see it everywhere we go. Schools, workplaces, communities and even homes. Almost everyone around us at one point has been a witness to bullying. Whether as a bystander, bully or a bully victim themselves. However, despite how commonplace this act is, there are unfortunately only a few stories that make their way to the light.

The reasons for staying silent differ from person to person, but bullying is typically frightening and perplexing, especially at first. Most people, especially children, are unclear as to how they should handle the situation. While they figure out what they're going to do, many people keep their bullying occurrences to themselves. As a result, more than half of the children who go through bullying or witness them, do not report these incidents.

Bullying is based on a hierarchy of power, control and it's misuse. Those at the bottom of the pyramid suffer the most while they feel the agony of helplessness and weakness. Many children experience extreme humiliation and embarrassment as a result of this. When children are bullied because of something they are already sensitive about, they might be too embarrassed to talk about it even more. Opening up about bullying would require children to shine light on their weakness and insecurities and this might be even worse than the act of bullying itself, for them.

Frequently, the bullied are acutely aware of their flaws. As a result, many will naturally conclude that if someone picks on one of those flaws and uses it to ridicule and humiliate them, they deserve it. When children are extremely critical of themselves and lack self-esteem, they may fall for the bully's taunts and, as a result, embrace the bullying.

Often, children believe that reporting a bully will have no effect. They not only feel powerless, but they also fear that speaking up would simply make things worse for them. In the popularity chain, they are at the bottom while those who bully them generally wield more power. These bullies could either be bigger and physically stronger or have the power to influence people against the victim. Instead of raising their voices, most children would rather endure and wait for the bullies to lose interest as they believe that speaking up would only aggravate the situation.

Many children believe that in order to fit in, they must accept occasional bullying. As a result, they will give into peer pressure and tolerate bullying as a means of preserving their social status. In cliques, this mix of peer pressure and bullying is very common. Victimized children frequently desire acceptance from the people who bully them. They may endure fake friendships and unpleasant behavior in order to stay in the group, especially if the person bullying them has a greater social status than the victim. Children may also not want to be labelled as ‘snitches’ or ‘tattletales’ as this would bring down their popularity among the group. As long as the victim lives in this fear, the bullying will continue.

As we shed light upon the reasons for bullying not being reported, this highlights the necessity of open and more communicative relationships along with the availability and accessibility of proper resources and facilities. We'll be able to confront and combat bullying, only if we work together.

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