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‘Chloe’s Law’ – When Is The Bullying Going To Stop?

Monday, 11th November 2013

‘Chloe’s Law’ – When Is The Bullying Going To Stop?

This blog post discusses issues such as bullying and teen suicide.

Please do not read on if you find this kind of thing distressing.

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

You can also visit the following websites:

Kids Helpline: www.kidshelp.com.au
Reach Out: www.reachout.com
Lifeline: www.lifeline.org.au

‘Chloe’s Law’ – When Is The Bullying Going To Stop?

Last Sunday night my Facebook Newsfeed was filled, post after post of people talking about, and liking a page called ‘Chloe’s Law’. Now I don’t get time to watch much TV, so I had no idea what it was, and what all the posts were in aid of.

Curious to find out, I clicked on a link that was shared and soon discovered what Chloe’s Law was all about. I watched the 60mins story about Chloe’s Law and it has really hit home for me.

If you missed it, I’ve included a link for you HERE.

My thoughts go out to Chloe’s family and friends.

Hell, my thought’s go out to anyone who has been left in this situation.

This story has hit home so hard for me because it could have very well been a reality for me, for my family too.

I did not enjoy my schooling career at all. I was bullied flat out through Primary School for being ‘The Fat Kid’ and it only got increasingly worse when I was in Secondary School. I became isolated and only had one true friend I could rely on.

My best friend and I copped it big time. There was always something.

We didn’t look the part.

We didn’t wear the right clothes.

We didn’t have designer shoes.

We liked the wrong kind of music.

We weren’t cool enough because we didn’t buy drugs.

We didn’t sleep around and get in trouble with the police.

It was pretty much a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ type situation.

In the end, we were picked on because we always hung out together, just the 2 of us.

We were pushed around and teased and called all sorts of names implying we were lesbians.

For the most part of Year 10, we showed up for the morning roll call and then disappeared into the city streets everyday simply to get away from it all. Even today, 15years later, I still don’t have the words to describe how those incidents affected me. Life changing to say the least.

I never really told anyone what was going on and I certainly never told anyone how bad it got for me. I hatched plans in my mind of how I could make it all stop. How I could finish it all for good. Not once, not twice but too many times to remember.

Sometimes, I would get close, and then hate myself even more for wussing out. It was a vicious cycle that just got worse and worse and then one day I snapped. I walked away.

I too, just like Chloe, left the school I was at. I spent the rest of that year doing short music industry courses, where I met some amazing adults, who treated me like a person, with care and respect.

Still to this day, I know in my heart that it was the step away from the nasty teenagers and the peek into the adult world that saved me.

Once that year was up, I (and my best friend) attended a different high school to complete my VCE and made some other friends whom I am still in contact with today.

I was one of those ‘lucky’ ones. More so, lucky because 15years ago, there was no such thing as Social Media.

The bullying and torment I was put through 15years ago was not something I would ever wish upon anyone.

I cannot begin to imagine what the teenagers of today have to go through knowing that the bullying is not just at school, it’s at home, it’s in the car, it’s on the bus, it’s everywhere. And once it’s out there…….. The internet is forever.

The thought of raising teenagers (which is not that far away for me), with all the added stresses that these social media platforms bring is a very daunting thing.

And it’s kind of why I am opening up and sharing this story of mine now.

I witnessed some very graphic and emotionally disturbing pictures in my own Instagram feed not so long ago from a young person I care so very much about, who is obviously struggling with their own bullying battles right now.

I looked, I read, and I cried. For hours.

Crying Eye

Without being there, without knowing the details, I have a fair idea what this young person is going through and it breaks my heart.

I want them to know that they’re not alone. That there are people out there that do understand, even though at times, it might not seem like it….

As a parent, I like to think that I know what my kids are up to online. Well at this stage anyway.

They’re still more than happy to show us what they’ve been looking at and know the boundaries of what they can and can’t do.

They use one messenger app, but all have me added too. I think they spend more time sending silly messages to me than what they do talking with their friends. I have put the foot down and said no to Facebook until they’re 13, but I do allow them to talk to my friends online through my personal profile. They’re allowed on the ipads and ipods, but then at bedtime these are all returned to our ‘Charging Station’ on my desk for the night.

I think an important point that was raised in the 60 minutes clip about Chloe’s Law, is that often if you flat-out ban them, and cut access to their social network, they’re less inclined to tell you if or when something IS wrong.

“I can’t tell mum this happened because she’ll take my iPad away….”

“I can’t tell dad that because he’ll delete my profile…..” And so on.

And when there’s a will, there’s a way and a determined teenager will always find a way!

I really believe that allowing them access, even through your own personal profiles, shows them that there’s nothing too exciting on offer and takes the sparkle off. They can see what are acceptable posts to make and what, for the most part, grown ups write about online.

It’s all about moderation I guess, and paying attention.

As social Media takes over our lives, (and as a blogger I know too well how easy it becomes second nature) we need to become much more aware of what our kids are up to, who their friends are and what goes on in their day to day lives.

Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Kik, Snapchat, Tumblr and more are not just going to go away, and putting some strategies in place early is a good start.

CyberSafetySolutions is a website full of information for Parents, Children and Schools. If you want to check it out, click HERE!

As for the bullies?

Nothing anyone can do, or say in the moment, will change their outlook on a situation and that’s exactly why we need to get tough. There needs to be consequences for outrageous actions. There needs to be the higher thought process put in place that mentally and physically abusing others is just not acceptable. Not now, not in 10 years time, not ever.

If you want to support ‘Chloe’s Law’, liking the Facebook Page is just not enough.

You need to sign the petition HERE!

Only moments ago when I spared around 30 seconds of my time to complete the petition, I noticed that only 17,300 people had actually put their name down… That is a very small portion of the 226,000 people that are following on Facebook.

Don’t just talk about it. Sign it!

I have included some helpline numbers in this post. Never ever be afraid to use them should you need to.

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

You can also visit the following websites:

Kids Helpline: www.kidshelp.com.au
Reach Out: www.reachout.com
Lifeline: www.lifeline.org.au

Are you a victim of school-yard bullies?

What strategies have you put into place as a parent to combat bullying?


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    6 comments
    1. Glenne

      Very close to home here too Jac, my eldest daughter suffered too much & for too long - believe it or not some of her worst experiences were at a university college, where she'd been housed near other girls from our home town. However our daughter was one of only a handful of state school kids, and to the irritation of these precious, spoilt, exclusive Catholic brats, she'd also left school with almost perfect results and an open door into a prestigious uni course. These young women were vicious little b**ches & the events & their actions are one of the few things I've struggled to really forgive & move on from. Our daughter claims she has long forgotten them, but I doubt that honestly; the damage must have left scars. Anyway I'm so sorry you have such a rotten story of your own; I'm a pretty optimistic, cheery & tolerant person, but I have less than zero tolerance for bullying. I run a mile before I engage in conflict, but I used to imagine confronting these girls & what I'd say - clearly I need to move on, put these girls were they deserve to be, out of mind. I'm more than happy to sign this petition & share it & would do anything possible for any other anti bullying campaign - it simply must be dealt with. I also agree with you about the drawbacks of (the very tempting idea of) wholesale denying technology to your kids; we have to teach them to manage it & all it's negatives - we're almost encouraging deceit otherwise. Great post, Take care Jac, stay strong xx

    2. commonchaoschronicle

      Thanks Glenne, the more awareness out there about this issue, the better. Hugs to you and your daughter xox

    3. Krystal

      Great blog post Jac :) Thank you for sharing. I was the victim of schoolyard bullying for most of my life, but it was emotional and never physical, luckily for me I guess in one way. I'm also sure I did my share of bullying as well, we're not all innocent. My kids have always been pretty gentle, they aren't your rowdy run of the mill hooligans, like you see a lot of the time these days. I just hope that between me and their Dads they have been taught that bullying is not okay. We had an incident with the oldest a couple of years ago when she was coming home complaining of being bullied when in fact she had started trouble with some older kids who got sick of it and retaliated. We got to the bottom of it and had a big discussion about bullying and there have been no further incidents. Mostly, if I feel there is something going on, I talk to the principal at the school and we work out what can be done. A lot of the time it's "This boy in my class picks on me and calls me names..." I tell her to walk away and ignore him, or tell the teacher. In another case at kinder, I may or may not be guilty of telling my child to smack a bully in the nose if he hits my baby again. I think it is important to nip things in the bud quickly and keep the kids and the school informed of what is going on, on both sides.

    4. Sandy Burton

      After seeing 60 minutes I am glad I won't allow my daughter to have facebook yet. She has I messages and was bullied by a so called friend and it upset her that much I made her delete her as a friend. And because it was done with school property I got my daughter to go see the principal and she sorted it all out and the child was punished. So far my daughter isn't being bullied anymore. But I still don't like social media as it makes bullying a media scandal. Thanks for blogging this jac

    5. Thanks for sharing this Jac. I'm sorry had to go through that horrendous experience. I too was bullied for most of my school life but I had enough good friends to keep me safe and sane. It is time there was ZERO tolerance and perpetrators isolated from school community during all free times at school . Schools also should be encouraged instead to do safe and respectable online behaviour courses like those offered by Life Education etc.. Trish recently posted...IPhoneography and Surprises from A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY (Giveaway)My Profile

    6. I was a victim of bullying when I was in primary school for looking different. Different as in, the people who are from the same background as me think I don't look or think like them. Sad isn't it. They would find anything or whatever situation just to make sure I feel left out, sad and abandoned. I was alone. My mum wasn't the maternal type and I couldn't really tell her about it. The good thing was, it made me stronger. I couldn't wait to get out of primary school and start a new life in high school. Which I did. I taught me to build up my walls, it taught me to scope out the type of girls that will cause me problems and to avoid that. Bad I know but that was how I survived. I'm just glad there was no social media then. Now, I monitor my kids social media accounts, so far only on instagram and I make sure they're set to private. When it comes to bullies I explain to them situations that I've been in (even now) and that there are mean people out there, we just have to rise above that and it's insecurity that causes them to be such. Norlin recently posted...Mood Board Monday: ReflectiveMy Profile

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