...beating the bullies
After months of enduring horrific cyber, verbal, and physical bullying, Coronation Street’s Bethany Platt finally reveals her traumatic ordeal to her aunt, Kylie.
Known as confident and outspoken, Bethany became the target of malicious bullying earlier on this year, at the hands of a group of ruthless girls who attend the same school as her.
Suffering in silence
In spite of the torrents of abuse Bethany has experienced, her family and friends have been completely oblivious to what’s really been going on. In a recent episode, however, Bethany’s aunt Kylie discovers the bullies’ nasty, threatening text messages on Bethany’s phone.
During the conversation that follows, a distraught Bethany informs her aunt that she was desperate to confide in her mother, who suffers from post-partum psychosis, but couldn’t bring herself to reveal her secret. Bethany also reveals that she’s been skipping school to avoid her bullies and claims that the stress of the situation has caused her to fail her exams.
Escaping a downward spiral
Bethany’s experience resonates with 43% of other young people in the UK who reported being victimised in the The Annual Bullying Survey 2015.
Bullying has devastating consequences on young people’s mental and physical well-being, and can lead to the development of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, and much more.
It also has serious consequences on their education, with over 16,000 young people being forced to miss school just to avoid encountering their bullies.
With a history of shoplifting and underage drinking, being subjected to heartless bullying threatens to push Bethany over the edge.
Lenka Wall, Solicitor in Education and Community Care, comments:
“Bethany’s horrendous experience is sadly not uncommon in this day and age. In addition to verbal and physical bullying, developments in technology have allowed victims to be subjected to abuse anytime and anywhere.
“Victims of bullying often feel ashamed and even guilty, and tend to turn the blame inwards – this can stop them from approaching someone else for help and isolate them even further. There’s also the fear of the repercussions on the victim if they were to reveal what was happening to them – this is especially apparent for young people who can be labelled by others as ‘a grass’ if bullying becomes public knowledge, as young people tend to view telling on fellow students as an act of betrayal.
“The media has often played an ambiguous role when it comes to exploring teenage culture, but it’s positive that the soap is trying to raise awareness of the detrimental effect it can have on a person’s self-esteem and mental well-being.
“It’s really important that those suffering from or witnessing bullying understand that the best thing they can do is inform and seek help from someone who is trustworthy, whether this is a friend, a parent or even a teacher.”
Written by Lenka Wall
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