As we have all seen in different media, for a while now the figure of the witnesses is becoming important in the fight against bullying.
I have already said on other occasions that there is no harassment without witnesses. Stalker needs “public” to reinforce his harassing behavior toward the classmate. When observers do not respond by reprimanding the bully, or even cheer or encourage the bully, he becomes stronger believing himself a leader, and thus harassment stays in time if no action is taken. Hence the awareness campaigns trying to make the observers direct protagonists.
What difficulties do I face for the success of such measures? Just that: to hold minors responsibility.
Let’s do an empathy exercise:
Being adults, how do we act when facing a situation of workplace or neighborhood harassment, or some kind of aggressive behavior? Do we ever intervene defending the victim, or are we also afraid of reprisals? At work, for instance, when a group of colleagues harass another colleague verbally, isolating, etc… Is it easy to face the group?
Experience and statistics show that taking action and dealing with such situations is not easy. In fact, a large majority decides not to take sides for fear of reprisals by the “strong” group or the leader, justifying themselves with “it’s not my business, it’s not my problem, I already have enough with my problems ..”
So why do we think that minors, facing a harassment situation, will find it easier than adults to cope with peers and their behaviors?
You have to be psychologically strong and have very well internalized values to take sides. And not even a large majority of adults are like that. For many of them it is easier to be blind to those situations, not mattering how old they are.
But there is an advantage in our young people favor: they are technological natives. Why not taking advantage of that potential? Why not using the new technologies in the fight against harassment?
From ZeroAcoso we are very aware of this. From our platform you can report any violent behavior suffered or witnessed, anonymously for the rest of your companions.The school counselor or teacher can be informed directly of any events that have taken place, so that the school is informed at any time about them, and can take the necessary actions in a fast and effective manner.
Let’s take advantage of this fantastic technological potential, with so many possibilities!