Say 'No More' to Domestic Violence and Bullying!by Mary Clymer on October 6, 2020
We Cannot Remain Silent if We Want to See Change.
There seems to be a lot of talk these days about Bullying. The focus being to educate kids and schools about the effects of bullying both on the playground and online.
This is a huge subject all on its own, but I question whether we as adults are listening to the advice and guidance we are giving our kids.
The conversation about speaking up against a bully is a tough one. Confronting an abuser is never easy, and unfortunately isn’t left behind when we graduate.
Domestic Violence is another form of control. With its roots in having power over another much like bullying. Although there hasn’t been a lot of research on the connection between the two, it is important to understand that they are both formed out of a need for control over another human.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline...
1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
These shocking numbers make me wonder what we value as acceptable behavior. And what we’re really being taught about how to treat one another.
You are most likely familiar with cyberbullying. We see it a lot on social media today. It doesn’t always stop there though. Texts, emails, and gaming platforms can all be used for abuse.
Platforms designed to connect us that often get turned into targeted bouts of rage. Comments meant to scare, anger, or shame someone else. Very often someone the bully has never even met.
What about you? Have you ever found yourself caught up in the moment online where you were so bothered by a comment or post that you found yourself knee-deep in an online war with someone whom you’ve never met?
I have. And it felt awful.
This situation puts all parties in a place of bully and victim. And everyone walks about feeling low.
Finding yourself in this situation, or watching it play out between two strangers online helps us to see how easily things can escalate without a personal connection.
Growing up can be awkward enough without the worry of someone constantly judging you, picking on you, and making your school experience exhausting. Now as our youth has more access to phones and the internet it makes it easier to take out the personal connection and torment relentlessly online.
This can be done by…
Sending hurtful messages
Posting embarrassing photos
Encouraging bad or harmful behavior
Although all bullying is bad, cyberbullying leaves a digital record that can be used to stop the abuse.
Online platforms can be controlled by activating different tools. Restricting who can see your post and who can comment. You can unfollow or silence someone. Typically these are simple steps found in your settings.
As we are all more isolated these days it’s hard to feel the connection with each other and your community. It’s easy to get wrapped up in online affairs. In many ways, it appears that the media is thriving off of our constant state of anxiety.
So where do you turn if you feel you or your child is being bullied?
It starts with collecting evidence. Screenshots of text messages and media posts to show what is going on.
If we truly want bullying to stop we need to address it. Identifying and reporting are key is showing a bully that their behavior will not be tolerated.
It is important to speak up.
As an adult, we are seeing so much of our world fall apart. The election is looming, our black community is suffering while neighbors and friends are in the streets fighting for social justice. False information is running wild online, and a virus has taken hold of our world and completely changed it overnight.
Yes, things are scary.
But we don’t have to be scared.
We can speak out against the oppressors, the name-callers, the bullys, and the liars.
Bullying will never end if we don’t rise up against it… Together.
We know that both men and women are victims of domestic violence. We know, like bullying it affects every race, religion, culture, and economic class.
We know that it reaches beyond physical abuse. Domestic Violence includes…
Non-stop Texting and Calls
The Silent Treatment
The Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994. Led by then-Senator Joe Biden. Since then the overall rate of domestic violence has dropped nearly two-thirds as state laws began to be addressed.
2020 has reminded us of what is important in our lives. It has also isolated children and spouses in homes of abuse in a time where tensions are high.
The Renton Chamber of Commerce believes in the health and safety of our entire community. Believing that we are stronger together. Belittling comments and name-calling have become commonplace and we see this as a dividing factor that won't be tolerated.
The Chamber wants you to know that they are always open to help the vulnerable and the compromised.
If you are in a life-threatening emergency please call the police at 911.
If you are looking for tools to help you retreat from an unhealthy relationship at home or online we have local resources to help.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has valuable information and resources
The Renton Police Department has a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate to provide assistance to victims who live within Renton's city limits. 425-430-6654
King County has a list of resources here.
YWCA Renton has a children of domestic violence program
The Renton School District has a zero-tolerance Bullying Prevention Program.
King County has employees 24 hours a day to take your call for any kind of bullying and harassment.
Kim's Tae Kwon Do of Renton has decided enough is enough. Sign your child up for self-defense classes today.
At a time in history when we are being so easily divided, let’s all say enough is enough.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Say no more to domestic violence and bullying. Now is the time to take a stand. Support survivors and speak out.