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A multitude of methods can be deployed in order to prevent bullying and its effects on the people being abused. However, much of this can be very unsuccessful and may need fairly ingenious and/or devious solutions which often change because of the bully getting to understand ways around this tactic.
- Telling other people This is a situation in which the victim reports the incidents of abuse against them; however there are many problems with this method. There are often so many incidents that one cannot easily report a tremendous back-log of events they may have without people getting to the point of disbelief (for instance 1,460 cases of assault - roughly 3 times a day for approximately 12-15 months). Secondly, the person who is supposed to help can be a problem themselves due to incompetence and may refuse to listen.
However, telling other people may help and telling authorities such as police forces, certain charities (including the NSPCC) or parents, head-master etc can be helpful (but it may be advisable for one to protect their identity by remaining anonymous when reporting). If one authority fails to take actions, there are procedures for complaint against that authority such as using inspectors or independent bodies for complaining. However, some people can be ineffective advice givers when speaking to them by saying things such as "Punch his lights out" or "Ignore it" (person denies any responsibility for tackling this issue). Certain web-sites may carry procedures on how to tackle this abuse, like this one for instance [Government of Canada advice and information http://www.gov.mb.ca/stopbullying/listen.html]. Some websites may have contacts that give advice to people also on what to do.
- Fighting back This is something that can be a natural response (flight or flight) or a forced one. Although the abuser will often try to get the individual to fight back, possibly to intimidate them or to appear that they themselves are being victimised and are defending themselves from attack. Of course, one cannot allow themselves to be assaulted and means by reasonable force may be the only course of action to defend a person from injuries, this does not normally involve weapons. The use of self defence is a controversial issue and indeed in many situations, it may be appropriate; but like any battle, it can go pear shaped. Some fighting to can lead to some more severe injuries that seems to be present due to the fact that individuals are fighting so hard that they do not notice pain (common on the battle field) and can lead to horrific injuries. Although, the lack of pain can be useful as this allows the person to continue fighting without being repelled by pain.
The use of weapons by both sides, leads to more horrific injuries in most cases. It is generally accepted that once under attack, that an individual can fight back to defend themselves as this is the only means to over-power the attacker once the fight has commenced. This is in the same way a cornered animal, will fight when threatened as its only means of escape is straight through you (if you corner it). Self defence courses are available and instructors are often keen to enable a person to learn self-defence but they often make clear, the consequences of abusing this tool by abusing others with your learned skills. Such self defence training is known as martial art. However, most people will not recommend that this is the way to tackle this issue. Usually, the larger and stronger the opponent is; the more likely they are to overcome you. But this is not always the case because you may have fought tactically (the general idea of martial art). Of course, one must take into consideration the fact that the enemy (particularly older people generally) can know more tactical methods of counter attacking.
- Tactical management
There are other ways that people can cope with this abuse also. For example, a person may decide that it is a good idea to take a dictaphone (small tape recorder) with them to show evidence of this bullying, but this is generally illegal in most countries (although most people would probably see it as being worth the cost).
Other methods are things such as putting school work into a brief case rather than a school bag to prevent the offender from vandalising school work and paper-work. This however, may come with a price (i.e. the bully uses the brief-case as a weapon by taking it from you and hitting you with it). Such objects may also be deemed unacceptable in a school for safety reasons, although there is no evidence of that. Money may be stored in the brief-case, but this only works if they do not force you to open the case to give them the money.
Other methods may be to lure them into a trap in which witnesses may be waiting. Witnesses may take pictures with mobile phone cameras or ordinary cameras as evidence and so forth.
Walking about with other friends as protection may scare the bully into avoiding you.
Make a record of the events as this may be able to be used to track down what is happening as evidence for making a complaint. Also record any actions from the people you talk to about this abuse, if there are reactions that you do not want such as being told off for complaining; write down who these people are and what they have done too.
Finding other victims may also act as evidence. Ask them to back you up!
Changing school or class-rooms are another way to avoid contact with these people.
- Legal action
Using your evidence, it may be possible to take legal action against the offender, possibly through sueing, claiming compensation, pressing charges, going to the media and so on. In the United Kingdom, such actions would be discussed with a legal adviser, solicitor or the citizens advice bureau. It is an offense to assault and hit people, sexually attack them, to use threatening behaviour, psychological abuse such as pestering and insulting, death threats, black-mail, defamation of character and so forth. People whom are responsible such as teachers can be fired for not doing their jobs if they are discovered to be allowing abuse to go on without it being investigated properly.
- Anti-bullying activists
- Anti-bullying campaigns
- Anti-bullying charities
- Anti-bullying legislation
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