Are you being bullied?
When people make fun of others, give them nicknames, humiliate them, exclude them, threaten to hurt them either in person, on the Web, in a text message or over the telephone, or when hitting is involved, that’s bullying. It’s no longer a matter of teasing others or joking around to make them laugh; nor is it a simple disagreement between two people that comes to an end and is forgotten. Bullying is something that keeps happening, day after day. When you are bullied, you feel vulnerable and powerless. Bullies make us unhappy and uncomfortable. Sometimes, you can feel all alone and isolated.
How can you tell if you are being bullied?
To find out if you are being bullied, ask yourself the following questions:
- Would someone else in the same situation also consider such behaviour offensive?
- Are these reprehensible behaviours, words, actions or gestures hostile?
- Does this behaviour humiliate, belittle you or put you down?
- If you’ve been subjected to a single but serious instance of hostility, has it had any lasting effects on you?
- Are these behaviours, words, actions or gestures that you find offensive making your workplace unpleasant?
What should you do if you are the victim of bullying, cyberbullying or harassment?
If you find yourself in one of the following situations, contact the police immediately:
- You feel that you are in imminent danger.
- You suspect that a criminal act (harassment or sexual assault, use of a weapon, threats, extortion, etc.) has occurred or may take place.
- The situation is taking place in the community rather than at school.
If the situation occurs at school or in the school environment, you can go to the resource people designated by your employer and have recourse to the mechanisms outlined in your organization’s policy on harassment.
If the situation takes place within a company and cannot be resolved internally, you can exercise your rights under the Act respecting labour standards. You have 90 days from the most recent display of offensive behaviour to lodge your complaint with the Commission des normes du travail.
Depending on the seriousness of the action, you may, for example:
- Talk to the perpetrator, if you feel you can do so safely, to make him or her aware of his or her actions.
- If possible, tell the person displaying the undesired behaviour that you want it to stop immediately. You can also remind him or her of the rules of conduct and the safety measures adopted by the school to deal with such behaviour.
- Talk about the problem with someone close to you, someone you can trust. Do not remain isolated.
- Inform the school principal, either at a meeting or in writing, the moment you feel that you are being subjected to violence. Employers, for their part, are obliged to provide a healthy, safe environment free of psychological harassment, bullying or any other form of violence.
- Avail yourself of an employee assistance program:
- to find solutions
- o to have someone intervene with the employer, depending on the requirements of the situation, in order to resolve the problem
- Go to your union if you have to, since it may be able to guide you through certain procedures.
- Refuse any request or invitation sent from an unknown address.
- Save or print any messages you receive.
- Do not answer any provocative or offensive messages.
- Immediately quit the site, or online activity, where the aggression occurred.
- Block the aggressor, using your spam filter or any other option at your disposal.
- Trace the source of the message with the help of your Internet service provider.