This week I make no apology for focusing on bullying. It’s an issue close to my heart as I was persistently bullied for months by two girls in my first year of secondary school.

When you’ve been bullied, the tortuous effects stay with you throughout your life. Its persistent nature and the pure vindictive pleasure a bully gets out of persecuting you, endures into adulthood.

In my case, I eventually refused to go to school and my mother insisted I tell her why.

She knew both girls and she confronted them in front of their parents wearing a very angry face.

Bullying didn’t occur for me within the school buildings though – it was on the journey to and from school via two older girls who lived near me. My mum mistakenly believed they would ‘look after’ me.

They didn’t. They ridiculed me for my lack of knowledge, made fun of my clothes, my hair and my quiet nature. They criticised and insulted my friends and, when I did attempt to answer back, they would push me around including into the road.

Somehow, I felt unable to get myself out of the situation. As an adult, I think ‘why didn’t I just tell someone and not walk to school with them anymore?’ But I wasn’t an adult. I was a child and I felt powerless.

Once my mum intervened, it stopped overnight.

However, when you have children of your own, you worry that they will have to deal with that same debilitating experience. In my case, I’ve tried to come up with strategies to deal with it – the ‘do this, if this happens’ strategy.

Some parents don’t know it’s even happening, and for some families the consequences can be devastating.

  • If you’d like to share your views or make a comment, please feel free. I can be contacted via any of the above routes or you can write to me at Gazette & Herald, 100 Victoria Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 3BE.