April 28, 2016 by Martine Rodrigue
intimidationBullying among seniors is a current phenomenon that has been observed in collective and communal living environments. It is rarely acknowledged and sometimes even tolerated in our society. But all of that is changing.

According to Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, “Bullying is a social phenomenon that has long been associated with classroom settings. We are becoming more and more aware that this specific type of violence occurs in all areas of society. It can affect anyone, at any age.”  We can no longer ignore this issue.

The 2015–2018 action plan “Together Against Bullying, A Shared Responsibility,” launched on November 18, 2015, by Quebec premier Philippe Couillard, asks citizens and organizations to work together to build caring living environments and respectful relationships free of bullying.

To better understand the need for action, we need to remember that bullying can take many forms. It can include hurtful words, gestures, and behaviors that frustrate others or make them uncomfortable. For example, someone makes a derogatory comment about the bags a man is carrying home from grocery shopping, a woman with a walker gets pushed and shoved in the elevator at mealtime, or a group of people prevent someone from finding a seat so he or she can’t participate in a collective activity.

We also need to take into account the negative effects bullying can have on people’s quality of life. They may feel increasingly unsafe, become depressed, withdraw, lose weight, get sick, develop anxiety, or isolate themselves.

If you witness bullying around you, you can make a big difference by taking a stand against it. To help you increase collective awareness about this phenomenon, numerous AQDR branches have a discussion kit that includes a video and a discussion guide created by AQDR Lévis-Rive-Sud to help raise awareness. To find a branch near you, visit aqdr.org (in French only).

If you are a stakeholder, facilitator, or manager of a seniors’ residence and you would like to organize an awareness activity in your community, watch the UNE GRANDE DIFFÉRENCE trailer at
youtu.be/96HkYuXpyxs (in French only).

Together, we can MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Reference :
Commission des droits de la personne et droits de la jeunesse (2014). “Mémoire de la commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse”, page 2 (in French only). Submitted at the public hearings on anti-bullying.

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