Cathartic Interview: Belle & Declan, Workplace Bullying Support.

 

Today at Cathartic we are pleased to be speaking to Belle and Declan, both writers/bloggers, who are blogging to raise awareness and help those affected by workplace bullying to recover from the trauma.

Their blog can be found at cancer-bullied.blogspot.com.

 

Belle and Declan feel that there is little support out there for those who are being bullied or have been bullied and are finding it hard to cope. The blog is also a lobby for the recognition of workplace bullying as a form of abuse, that bullying be the subject of political recognition, statutory and institutional change, with an emphasis on respect and dignity at work and the requirement that the onus is on the employer to maintain a bully-free workplace.

 

What are the goals and mission of your blog?

Our mission is to help and empower the targets of workplace bullying to find the resilience to cope and recover from the trauma of workplace bullying by one step at a time. Although we started from the base of cancer survivors, we are there for all. We believe in regaining control from the bully who seeks to control us. We are there for people at any stage of the bullying scale from the beginning to those that may still be in pain a long time after it is overl

 

What inspired you to create the blog and raise awareness of workplace bullying?

Belle had breast cancer and became aware that many cancer survivors have been the subject of workplace bullying and poor treatment upon their return to work. She was shocked to discover this and that it is recognised and acknowledged by organisations such as Macmillan cancer support. She realised that whilst there is a lot of material on who the bully is and how they operate and information on litigation etc, there is little on the victim of bullying and their traumatic experiences and plight, such that they may not even feel capable of taking action. There is not much written about the complexities of recovery. This leaves sufferers at a loss of what to do with the emotions thrown up by bullying resulting in many tragic cases of targets losing jobs, never being able to work again and even committing suicide.

We believe that regaining control from a bully requires support, attention to health and well-being and caring for ourselves. Many targets suffer in silence and many are still under the control of the bully. They deserve to be acknowledged. They deserve to know that IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT, that bullies will target anyone for any reason. You may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Targets are not weak and should not feel shamed. They are right to put their health and sanity at the top of their agenda. They are worth it and deserve it. They should also know that bullying causes real distress and that they have a right to be validated.

 

How does your blog aim to provide support to those suffering from workplace bullying?

We are not experts and would always suggest a target seeks professional assistance, however our aim is to look at ideas, stories and examples of situations that may help with coping and recovery from bullying. Our deepest desire is to alleviate suffering. In this endeavour we are always open to new ideas and experiences that have helped bully targets.

 

Your blog is fairly new, are there people helping you currently and what help do you need moving forward?

We have only been operational online since October 2015 and are still finding our feet. We have a small cadre of friends who assist with development, ideas and publicity for this small online recovery guide.

We would also love to hear from any clinicians or experts who understand bullying recovery and could provide pointers, statistics etc. We would also love to hear from anyone who knows about other countries and how they tackle bullying, we understand Sweden, France and Victoria (Aus) have sophisticated policies.

 

What challenges have you faced in implementing your blog and raising awareness of workplace bullying?  How have you dealt with them?

The main challenge is finding adequate copy to keep our blog relevant and exciting. Getting stories of bullying from the public and maintaining a profile so we can reach more people who are suffering the trauma of bullying and finding things hard,

 

Raising awareness of these issues can be a difficult task, how are you hoping to expand the reach of your campaign?

It is very early days and we are hoping to set up website rather than just a blog and facebook page. We are just proud that we have tried our best to do something where there is limited information on recovery.

 

If people want to support you and your blog, what can they do?

We would love stories or copy. We also want to start a gallery of poetry and art by recoverers as we strongly believe that using creativity as a form of self-expression can aid recovery by allowing the target to regain control of something, find flow and rediscover joy.

 

For anyone who has been affected by workplace bullying or wishes to help you, how is it best to contact you?

We can be contacted in the following places,

Twitter: @bellemarsh4  Facebook: www.facebook.com/CancerBulliedAtWork

Blog: cancer-bullied.blogspot.com

Feel free to join our facebook and message us or post your experience on our page. Companies must not be mentioned by name, there should be no abuse or naming and shaming of any individual. However, we would love to hear general accounts of experiences and what people did to recover or any ideas to aid recovery.

 

We are pleased to be supporting the work of Belle and Declan here at Cathartic and are fully behind their efforts to raise awareness of the trauma of workplace bullying.

We believe that the power of sharing experiences and stories can have immense value in not only raising awareness but helping those who may feel isolated realise that they are not alone.