• Samantha Lehmann

If you do nothing, You are part of the problem!

I have always been a very passionate person. I know that when I am passionate about something it drives me to make a difference, to act or create change.

I was criticized when I was younger for being outspoken, bold and for questioning things. This made me feel like I had to change, I needed to pull back, keep quiet and not be my true self. I was told because I was a girl I couldn’t do certain things like whistle, swear or play football. I was told that If I wanted to pay someone to do my ironing ( because I really bloody hated doing the ironing), I would need to marry someone rich.

This was the culture and society I grew up in. I fought against it and made sure I could earn my own money, I made sure I could survive and thrive without living with a man, I played football well just a couple of games in primary school, I whistle, I swear when I feel like it and I have a fierce belief in loyalty and integrity. I stand up for those who are treated wrongly even if it means someone won’t like me for it, this is something I know about me that makes others uncomfortable, I say what I think and if it’s not what the majority believes I can be disliked for it, I can’t control who likes me and I accept that, it took me at least 30 years to learn that but it gives me great peace, because I would rather live my life being me then pretending to be someone else just to fit in.

I am a role model to my children; my behaviours, actions and belief’s influence them. I hope my girls will carry on my positive traits and dismiss my many flaws. I’m certainly no perfect mother but I’m doing my very best and I hope that when my girls are women that they have the courage and self-belief not to try and fit in with anyone or society, that they run their own race and strive for what makes them happy whilst living their lives passionately with loyalty and integrity.

Im sure most of us have come across situations where we have been treated unfairly, disrespected abused or threatened in life. It can be very uncomfortable, hurtful and frightning for some. Bullying is a very common discussion amongst parents with school aged children, its also happens in the workplace and even in families. When I was younger we were told just to walk away or ignore the behaviour. We are also told we need to build resilience in kids because there is always going to be assholes out there.

Here are some Austrailian stats on Bullying in schools

· Roughly 1 in 4 students (27%) have reported being bullied, from primary to high school. This is lower than the 38% reported in 2006

· Hurtful teasing was reported as the most common bullying behavior, closely followed by lies.

· Bullying was more common for Year 5 students (32%) and Year 8 (29%).

· Bullying by females tended to be more covert, while males were more “in your face” about it.

· Peers are present in 87% of bullying interactions, mostly as onlookers who do nothing to help the victim.

· Racial bullying against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has actually improved compared to the 31% rate reported in 2005. Three years later the figure was down to 10%.

While there is improvement in some of these figures, it is clear that a lot remains to be done to control bullying in Australia.

I have highlighted the fact that in 87% of these situations onlookers are actually around when the harassment and bullying takes place and do absolutely nothing!!!

This is something that we need to change as parents, role models and as humans. We need to show support to people who are victims of this cruel behaviour. Yes confrontation is uncomfortable, ok you might not be a confident person to speak your mind but trust me if you push through this uncomfortableness and stand up for what you believe is right, you will be make a very noticeable difference to someone's life.

We need to make a stand that it’s not ok to be nasty, threaten or bully others. We need to support our friends and those we care about so they feel supported and not alone. Don’t stay quiet when you know someone is not being treated right, move forward with courage and be that person that stood up and calls out those shit behaviours and prove your loyalty to those who deserve it most.

As an onlooker, you might think it’s got nothing to do with me so why should I get involved, it’s got everything to do with you because if you look on or know that this vile behaviour is happening and do nothing you are very much part of the problem.

If anyone is experiencing any issues with bullying or harassments please contact

Kids Help line 1800 551 800 or Bully Zero Foundation (03) 90943718

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