Helpful/Informative Tips #2 Continued...
What to do if a bullying victim confides in you
#4 - Ask them what they want to do next
This is important. It is strongly advised that you do not do anything else, unless the victim approves. Think of them confiding in you as a form of Doctor/Patient confidentiality. If a doctor broke a patients trust by passing on sensitive or private information, how would the patient feel? How would you feel in that situation? The same process applies to bullying victims who confide in you, they may feel betrayed if you pass on information without their consent. Even if you did it with good intentions to help them out they may not see it that way.
So instead ask them what they want to do next, and advise them on what they can do, such as see people in authority who can help. Such as advising them to see a parent, teacher or speak to an admin/moderator. Offer to go with them if they feel nervous.Tell them about support networks, and safe support sites. But never, ever, force them to speak to someone or see someone they don't feel comfortable with. Gentle is the best path here, not force.
You can only pass on the information to someone else if you feel they are in serious imminent danger, such as a fear for their own life, or a fear of further life threatening or severely damaging abuse. But even in these serious cases you still reassure the victim and tell them what you intend to do, but be cautious if you intend to proceed and the victim has not given consent.
#5 - Never tackle the bully yourself!!
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! I know if someone confides in you, and tells you exactly who is bullying them, you may feel the need to go all superhero to the rescue and tackle the bully yourself. But this is not always the best course of action and in most cases, by confronting the bully you in fact make the situation a lot worse. And this is not what anyone wants to do.
Also, like I said above, you can't go tackling the bully if you wanted to unless the victim says its okay. But even if they say its okay, charging into the fray like a bull in a china shop is not gonna help.
If the victim says its okay, then only confront the bully if you are trained to do so! If you are not in a position of authority or not had the necessary welfare training to do so then you are not the right person to tackle this. People like teachers, bosses, youth workers, instructors, admins and moderators, know exactly how to handle this situation calmly, discreetly and effectively. They would also know who to go to if the situation was severe and needed to be handled by others, such as involving the police, and know how to go about this is in the correct way. So if you need to tell someone contact someone who can handle the situation, rather than tackle it yourself and make things worse.
So if the victim told you they were being bullied at school, contact a teacher or a support worker as some schools now have these in place. The victim is being bullied at work? Contact their boss or welfare worker there. In my case, if a cadet confided in another cadet, that cadet would know that an instructor or member of staff would be the next port of call. If someone is being bullied on this site, then its important to contact a site admin or moderator. Or failing that, or if they fail to respond @caleb has said he is good port of call to go to in this situation (link to his journal about it HERE). This goes for other websites, contact their support, admin or moderators, and they will advise you on what to do next. Most websites have a dedicated system to report such things, so its worth researching/looking into these for reference if you need to.
So this ends this helpful journal type thing. I hope this and part one of this made sense and has cleared up some of the fog surrounding this subject for you. Obviously I intend to keep the helpful tips coming so keep tuned to this space. And watch the group if you aren't already. And direct people to this if they are looking for info.
But for now I shall say bye bye.