A victim of bullying is launching a campaign to promote awareness of its ‘devastating’ effects on self-esteem.
Anna Kelly, from Sheldon, was a corporate manager when she and a colleague became the target of a bullying campaign.
Fortunately, she was able to put the traumatic experience behind her and has recently becoming an associate member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance to show others the behaviour is never acceptable.
“It can damage a person’s confidence, which can affect the whole of their life, stop them getting on,” she said.
“It can impact on how they think, how they interact with other people.”
Anna, who runs her own successful table arrangement business, has created a CD entitled ‘No Bullying = More Fun’ which aims to educate schoolchildren about bullying, and brief teachers on what to look out for.
Anna said bullying today was tougher on children than ever before.
“In schools, you used to get a bit of negative banter, which children could laugh off. But it’s got more serious. With cyber bullying, they’re getting nasty emails, texts, messages on Twitter and Facebook, it’s harder for children to escape it.”
Anna has already given presentations on bullying at St Andrew’s and Holy Family primary schools, and is hoping to spread her message across the entire area. She is currently waiting for a response from several education authorities.
But her next challenge is to create an anti-bullying CD for adults.
“People can think about it as a playground thing but it definitely happens outside of schools.
“It’s the same issues, whether an adult or child, it creates a lack of confidence.
“I am also an advocate for anti-bullying within the workplace. Bullying has a dire effect on the individual, destroys their confidence and abilities.
“On the business side, talented staff will be lost plus a likely chance, the reputation of a company that allows bullying as part of its culture.
“It’s more subtle in the workplace so it’s down to a very good manager to detect signs of bullying. I’d like to be able to highlight the signs.”
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