Wednesday, March 9, 2011


An article with the same title as above by Madanna Behen was published in USA Weekend Magazine on February 4-5, 2011. Her definition of bullying: "Agressive behavior that is intentional, repeated over time and involves an imbalance of power or strength. Bullying can take many forms, such as hitting or punching, teasing or name-calling, intimidation through gestures, social exclusion and sending or posting insulting messages or pictures by cellphone or online (also known as cyberbullying)."

It's rare for a person to never experience bullying. Siblings bully each other, some parents bully each other or their children. Employers, neighbors, teachers, doctors--almost anyone--may be guilty of occasional or time-limited bullying.

In the case of domestic violence, though, bullying is not situational, temporary, or fixable through discussion, lawsuit, or even most restraining orders.

It is not "fixable" because the abuser does not want to stop. If he stops bullying his victim(s) or they refuse to be bullied by leaving him or having him arrested, he may lose what he fears most. He may lose his feeling of  power, importannce, strength, and  righteousness. His self-esteem dangles by a thread. And that thread strangles the life and well-being of his partner and children.

That thread is made of emotional steel. It's hard to bend, sever, or destroy. It doesn't go away for years, maybe a lifetime.

Seems like it would be better to cut this thread when kids and teens have a chance to choose a gentler kind of connector--before they are entangled in domestic violence.

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