One of the most rewarding things about being The Bullyologist® is the opportunity to meet a wide range of people who share their own insights and experiences about the state of modern bullying. Every time I give talks, conduct workshops or advise business leaders on practical anti-bullying strategies, I learn something new.
A while back, I had an interesting chat with a policeman at a conference in Melbourne. After hearing my story, he told me that what I’d experienced at my job in Darwin was just like ‘domestic violence at work’. He explained that it featured almost exactly the same behaviour patterns and psychological characteristics found in a typical domestic violence situation:
- Intimidating, belittling behaviour followed by broken promises
- A sustained breaking down of the victim’s sense of self-worth
- An intentional effort to isolate the target
- A fear of leaving because of loyalty
My subsequent research into the correlations between workplace bullying and domestic violence have revealed that the similarities are even more profound than I’d initially realised.
Every Q & A session I conduct about bullying produces a similar ‘aha moment’. The more we understand the causes, effects and intricacies of bullying, the better we’ll all be at tackling it.
What surprises you the most about the global scourge of bullying?
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Jessica Hickman is a professional member of these associations: