(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Is Abuse the Same as Bullying?
Hello Marked Ministry tweens! Its Kailyn, one of the tween writers for this magazine. A question for this topic that has been on my mind for quite a while is, “Is abuse the same as bullying?” At my old school, I frequently saw bullying occur with the other kids. Sometimes, other kids would try to be funny and say, “Hey, that’s abuse,” but they didn’t know what abuse truly meant. They just thought it was punching someone in the gut or tripping them on the way to class. It could be that and more.
There are different types of abuse that can be associated with bullying. There is verbal abuse, which is definitely bullying. In my opinion, verbal abuse is the worst kind of bullying and abuse. It hurts more than physical abuse, because the words will last forever and make a great impact on your life and how you live. Even if you say something to be funny, to another person, it could be hurtful and personal. If or when you are being verbally abused, you need to remove yourself from the situation and speak up. Tell a trusted friend or adult. Ask them for help and advice. If you don’t feel comfortable telling someone, you can turn to God. Pray, ask for wisdom and guidance, or read the Bible. In Psalms 147:3 it says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Turn to Him for comfort and He will heal you. Always remember that you are a precious child of God and that will never change.
Another kind of abuse is physical abuse. Physical abuse can be from generally anybody. Sometimes, people will get confused between when a parent spanks their child or when they beat them. Parents are allowed to spank their kids out of discipline when they do something wrong, but when the parent is hitting their child out of anger, that’s when it turns into physical abuse. A child who experiences bullying is just like the child who is being hit and called names by their parents at home, only bullying is focused at school. Both face trauma.
When I was in elementary school and I saw kids being bullied, I usually walked away because I didn’t want to be any part of it, and I would carry on with my own life. Now, I wish I could go back and help those kids because the bullying probably made an unwanted dent in their whole world. Now they are probably in junior high and struggling with their schoolwork because of the burden that they held on to throughout elementary. I pray that the next time you see someone being bullied, don’t be a bystander. Go help them out and, who knows, you could’ve changed the whole course of their life.
What do you do if you are caught up in any one of these situations? First of all, remove yourself from the scene, then go straight to a trusted adult or friend. Openly share all that has been going on. Do this because the bully or abuser thinks they can get away with harassing you. They threaten you into not speaking up. If you ever see that person again, stay a safe distance away. On another note, we live in a fallen world. It happens all the time to people older and younger than us. Help stop abuse and bullying by standing up for a friend or telling an adult.