What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Australia Needs Federal Anti-Bullying Legislation!

by L. Thatcher
(Brisbane)

Australia needs federal anti-bullying legislation to ensure that bullying is a punishable offence sending a clear message to the bullying culture within Australian schools and workplaces. Currently victims and targets of bullying in schools and the workplace are forced to rely mostly on occupational health and safety or personal injury laws, which do not address bullying directly, making it necessary link it to other behaviours such as sexual harassment, discrimination or injury. Although there is various legislation used to address bullying in schools and the workplace, it is complicated and expensive and can take many years to achieve an outcome.

This can be a daunting outlook for victims who are already suffering emotionally and psychologically and can contribute to them being unable or unwilling to take legal action. Bullying thrives when victims and bystanders ‘do nothing.’ Legislation is needed that clearly defines and exposes bullying, allowing victims to seek urgent court orders to stop bullying conduct. Attaching jail terms to clearly defined bullying behaviours would deter many perpetrators, reducing the impact bullying is having on Australian society and economy.

Comments for Australia Needs Federal Anti-Bullying Legislation!

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Anti-Bullying Legislation
by: Rosaea Hostetler

Every country in the world needs anti-bullying legislation. And let's start with the bullying politicians!

Overdue Laws...
by: Anonymous

I assume you have been personally bullied?

It's amazing how rampant workplace bullying is, not only in Australia, but globally, and the fact that there are no clear laws that specifically address bullying behaviour, says a lot about the value organizations place on people.

I personally believe that in order to eradicate bullying, we must change the way in which we treat each other and how we perceive interpersonal relationships.

There are laws that prohibit people from killing each other, yet, people still kill each other...will a Stop Bullying Law prevent people from bullying each other? I sincerely doubt it, it may prevent a few, but overall bullying will continue until we change our tolerance and acceptance of others who are not like us, and stop rewarding aggressive behaviour.

It is my opinion, that we live in an aggressive world, and bullies take advantage of every opportunity for their sociopathic behaviour, since it's considered "normal" interaction in workplaces, and is implicitly condoned behaviour, that is why bullies thrive in these environments.

A targets first reaction when bullied is typically shock, because their social filters have been violated and traumatized. And after the shock wears off, targets must begin the process of dealing with the insidious abuse and relentless attacks, that only a target of bullying knows.

I also believe, that by being sensitive, respectful and civil is one way to reduce the effectiveness of bullies.

Will a federal law change bullying behaviour?

I don't know, but I think it's a good place to start.

law is great for black and white, but not grey.
by: A

Agreed. However, the area is not so black and white is it? So unless the bullying is obvious, good luck proving it!
My biggest fear with a law would be when a bully brings the target to court and twist everything around. Can a target truly go through more? We've talked about why a bully is a bully. We've talked about solutions for a target (the best being leaving) I think by educating one other, reminding one other, supporting one another through posters, t.v. ads, schools, books, web sites, radio, etc. that perhaps the next generation may be able to stop some of it. Lets show that bullying is socially unacceptable. Let's make people aware of their behaviors (maybe some don't even realize they're bullies!)
I'd like to see a poster that list the common traits of a bully on the work floor, in schools. Maybe some people will think twice.
I believe awareness is key.

Possible ways to stop bullying
by: Anonymous

I think to break down bullying apart from ensuring that court cases are heard and settled quickly, that all HR managers are put on a public register and if they do not discourage but are also involved in workplace bullying or cover ups their name should go on a public register. At present they are not, they can join the RCSA but obviously not all of them do. The public humiliation and a significant fine taken from them and the company would probably help to discourage it.

Also too it should be spread by internet sites for people to check their union policies to see if they are truly covered for what they are paying for - I have noticed that you are told one thing but when you look at the policy information of a union(s)you are not covered at all - members should take this to the press, or talk back radio until something is done firstly in writing to correct the situation and secondly, if they do not keep their word possibly go to the press or do things anonymously via talk back radio.

Furthermore, if you are in a union you should be able to choose which union representative you want because at times a union representative is too friendly with management (and I suspect at times they get favours in return i.e. promote their family member for instance. Using the avenue mentioned in the above paragraph this may be accomplished.

Also too, if someone is having problems they should consider taking information from Tim Field's internet website on bullying along with them to any tribunial or court hearing or any other written material by well known psychologist to support that it is not all in your imagination i.e. about dodgey medical interviews for instance.

Furthermore, I cannot remember but Sweden or Norway has a strong position on workplace bullying - maybe we need to learn from those countries on how to reduce bullying.

That is all I can think of at the moment.

Every Nation Needs Anti-Bullying Legislation
by: Kansas Rose

Reasoning will not stop bullies but using some type of "force" that they understand will help. Mirroring their words during attack helps, or calling police as most fear authority. (I've done that and it has worked for me, to a point, as our officers are also bullies.)

Research shows there are damaged brain cells that causes the behavior--lack of remorse, no conscience, etc. We can't MAKE them change but perhaps we can stop their behaviors. Protective laws would be a major start. Also letting the bully know they are bullies is a big help as "A" stated that some may not even know they are bullies.

For several years I have promoted November 21 as Bugabully Day". This is a day to civilly "bug" a bully and let the bully know they are a bully by anonymously sending a message through snail mail so they can't retaliate: "This is to let you know that I know you are a bully." Invent your own short message. It can't hurt and may help a bully identify their unacceptable behavior. One city authority actually resigned but I don't know if a couple of years of that message was part of the reason or not. Before she resigned she sent a short note wanting to know what I had recorded for posterity about her. (I have a large paper trail collection of observations and prairie history archived at a major university.) I responded that the information was confidential until we are both deceased. So it is obvious she was worried about something!

I was stunned when I was bullied last week in a local restaurant by two middle-aged waitresses who "came in for the kill" as a team. No one stopped them and I was forced to leave "and never come back." (They are not the owners.) When I had time to catch my breath and think about what happened, it was one I had not been aware of before but can now clearly see as another bullying pattern: Elder abuse. I am almost 75 years old. I have wrinkles. I was alone. Had I been with someone or had I been under 55, I am sure they would have never attacked. So now it is new problem facing me as I realize I have been ripped off countless times in home repair jobs, auto repairs, etc. because of my age. There is no one to protect me so they bully me with gouging. I used to think Elder Abuse happened only to seniors in rest homes.

I've talked with friends and it seems that older women alone are targets everywhere any more. At least this social problem may create a new career for some: Body Guard For Older Women. At the very least, we can all learn to use a cell phone camera and never leave home without it. But what a sad way to have to live, chained to yet another electronic device.

We must unite and help one another when we can....I dream of a WALL of protectors showing up with me and standing silently and staring at the waitresses who bullied me. No words would be needed, maybe a sign STOP ELDER ABUSE and I know they would slither away.

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