stop bullyingSometimes children bully to fit in, other times kids act out because something else—issues at home, abuse, stress—is going on in their lives, or they also may have been bullied.

Such individuals may get into fights, abuse alcohol and other drugs, get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently, be abusive toward their children, romantic partners as adults, as well as engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood.

If you noticed one of the following signs in a child around- is increasingly aggressive, competitive and worry about his/her behavior too much, don’t accept responsibility for his/her actions, have unexplained extra money or new belongings and etc., when you should take appropriate steps to prevent and stop bullying.

1. Find out what is the reason for bullying.

If they just want to show off and fit in- then participation in sport or other activities may solve such problem. If the problem is mental- private problems, bullying experience etc, then the specialist (a psychologist, a social worker etc.) should work with them.

2. Point out the bully that their behavior is wrong and harmful for others and such behavior won’t be tolerate then use consequences to teach.

A bully may write a paper, make a presentation, discussion about human rights, tolerance, friendship, bullying and etc.

3. School code of conduct.

Besides above mentioned schools should establish a code of conduct, a bullying reporting system, train teachers, set a bullying prevention material into the curriculum and school activities.

Unfortunately, there is no legal framework, no policy and even any perceptions to address bullying in Armenia. While the situation even worse than can be expected, because in addition to abovementioned reasons here comes Armenian mentality, intolerance to everything beyond established “traditional rules”, “ nationality myths”, low level of awareness and legal consciousness, lack of respect in the society.

To avoid any personal attitude- the situation in Armenia is presented by scripts of real people interviews (all names are changed for security purposes).

– As a girl I was different from others in the class, and everyone hated me for that. I was always active: I was painting, singing, writing poems … in short, my teachers liked me a lot and praised me every time.
After all, it was probably was due to envy, they started me suppress emotionally, make fun, bait, offend, call me names and call those words instead of my name. It all caused me big pain. Eventually, it all was turned to physical pressure.

Mary, 22

– In the period of maturity, my voice was not as harsh as other boys and they stared joking at me for that reason. Some guys would make fun at me and say: “hey chicka, would you give me your phone number?” which was usually told to girls.

Armen, 18

– Another day I was going to school, a group of guys were “squatting” on the way. When they noticed I was coming, one of them shouted: “he’s coming” and they spat on my way.

Davit ,21

– When I was going out of school, girls were saying “hey guys, the belly already passed, he would go out of school soon. They were screaming and throwing stones after me, throwing chocolates to me and saying “hey, fatty, eat”. And it became a reason for many complexes.

They said such things to me so often that I quit eating at all- I were in the stage of anorexia. As a result, it caused me many health problems, some of which I still have.

Mher, 18

– I was studying at YSU in 2011-2012. One day the lecturer started to talk about homosexuality during the class time. His primary stance was that homosexuality is against our nation and something needs to be done with them from the day they’re born.

Because the only male representative, who spoke in favor of homosexual people and for their rights was me, I got more problems after that in the university… he made me to sit alone, he was always grinning when passing by and glanced at me disdainfully. And the other 70 students in my class also noticed it and they did know the reason.

Arman, 22

– I was trying to become invisible- like I didn’t go out during class breaks, quite class participation, or I wasn’t as active as others, to avoid bullying.

Hunan, 23

– I was a school-age boy when fell in love for the first time. Then I decided to tell that boy about my feelings. He told it to his and my friends with a very bad wording. After that no child talks to me in the village. One teacher knew about that as well and always assessed me lower, although I was always ready for classes. Somehow I graduated from the school and entered to the University- the same staff repeated again.

I left Armenia for a couple of years, studied abroad and came back. Now I become a succeed programmer.

Artak, 30

– These seem to be just childish jokes that can happen to everyone. However, when you summarize it all, the general overview seems more serious.

Karen, 19

– I personally put the end of this entire staff by myself. My grandfather was giving me strength; he always said that I will be successful and that I will remember those cases as a nightmare. And he was right. I was so strong to overcome my position as a victim; I didn’t feel sorry for myself anymore.

Anahit, 21

Maria Abrahamyan