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One of the saddest sounds you will  hear is crying….  Genuine heart-wrenching sobs of helplessness, pain, fear, sadness.

I heard someone sobbing in the restroom at work, but I did not want to disturb her privacy.  A few minutes later, I saw her and asked how she was.  I did let her know that I heard her crying and was very empathetic to her situation.  It was heart-breaking to hear about the repeated bullying and terrible things that were said to her, but she deserved to be heard.  Words and actions can cause scars that are invisible from the outside.  She is a very strong person in her character and her faith, but everyone has a breaking point.  Sadly, all I could do was listen.

As emotionally and mentally mature and empathetic human beings, our instinct is to help, to heal, or to stand up for others who are unable to stand up for themselves.  We would never stand idly by while a child was bullied, yet millions of us do everyday while adults suffer these experiences on the job.

When I saw that the daily prompt was “Fact” I began writing this post.  I hesitated for the same reason that others do – no one wants retaliation, further abuse in the job, or having their employment threatened, and I did not know if I should mention it.  I experienced the same fear and anxiety about the topic, but another said that I should write the post and share the information. It certainly saddens me to see someone suffer so.   I felt that I had to see the facts for myself.

The employee walks on eggshells and is fearful of what is to come.  This is not healthy and certainly not conducive to a positive work environment. The choice for the target who cannot speak up is to leave; that does not resolve the lingering effects, or doubt, and creates a hole in a business to be filled by looking for someone new and training that individual.  That learning curve costs a company financially as well.

“Workplace bullying is on the rise.  While statistics vary, some studies reveal that nearly half of all American workers have been affected by workplace bullying, either as a target or as a witness to abusive behavior against a coworker.”  http://www.workplacebullying.org/individuals/problem/definition/

From the Workplace Bullying Institute:

Key Findings

• 19% of Americans are bullied, another 19% witness it
• 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace
• 60.4 million Americans are affected by it
• 70% of perpetrators are men; 60% of targets are women
• Hispanics are the most frequently bullied race
• 61% of bullies are bosses, the majority (63%) operate alone
• 40% of bullied targets are believed to suffer adverse health effects
• 29% of targets remain silent about their experiences
• 71% of employer reactions are harmful to targets
• 60% of coworker reactions are harmful to targets
• To stop it, 65% of targets lose their original jobs
• 77% of Americans support enacting a new law
• 46% report worsening of work relationships, post-Trump election

The statistic is terrifying: Over 60 million people in the U.S. alone are impacted as targets or witnesses! I was shocked to see the statistics and the number of workers affected.  Yet, most times, it continues although others agree, witness silently, then walk away thankful that it is not them and out of fear for their own jobs.  So the cycle of abuse continues.  Most acts of verbal abuse, mobbing, isolation, and false rumors and lies are never reported.  Witnesses agree and observe the behaviors, but fear of getting involved or gratitude that it is not them affected, keeps anyone from taking action.

This information comes from the UK:

Mental Healthy takes a look at the facts, figures and real life stories which show that bullying in the workplace is a very real and serious problem for many adults today.

Did you know that…

  • 1 in 10 workers had been bullied in the past six months
  • 1 in 4 workers had been bullied in the last five years
  • 47% of workers had witnessed bullying at work.
  • There is almost an equal number of men and women who have reported bullying

(According to a large UK study on bullying at work published in 2000 by the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and supported by the TUC)

 

workplace bullying infographic

It is not my nature to sit idly by while someone is affected; if there is something that can be done, I always want to take positive action to improve the situation.  Silenced targets have the same emotional, mental and physical symptoms of those who are victims of domestic abuse.  Understandably, people are angry and stressed with increased pressure in the business and financial world, however  bullying, demeaning, falsely accusing, spreading rumors and gossip, and threatening one’s employment is never appropriate behavior.

To read more about workplace bullying, you can review the following sites:

hhttps://au.reachout.com/everyday-issues/workplace-bullying

http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/other/mental-health/bullying-in-the-workplace.html

http://www.workplacebullying.org/

https://www.yourerc.com/blog/post/20-Subtle-Signs-of-Workplace-Bullying.aspx

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140723143757-143588541-examples-of-bullying-in-the-workplace

http://www.kickbully.com/lists.html

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fact/

 

 

 

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