Greshun De Bouse writes on disability bullying and the effects it can have on people with disabilities.
Like most all reading this article, I was taught to love life and love myself. However, loving this life and yourself is easier said than done when bullies maliciously seek to make life a nightmare. The bullying pandemic has swept the nation in all forms, and according to the National Center For Education Statistics (2018), "More than one of every five students report being bullied." More astounding research by the National Bullying Prevention Center (2019) indicates "Children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their non-disabled peers." The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2018) attribute such bullying prevalence among disabled children to them being viewed by peers as weak and less resistant to bullying behavior.
Bullying is repeated, unwanted aggressive behavior with an existent bully-bullied imbalance of power, and may be physical, verbal, or social. Such bullying is the impetus for deep-seated clinical depression, social anxiety/agoraphobia, and PTSD. According to a longitudinal study of 3500 adolescents published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, "50 percent of the poorer mental health of adolescents with disability is due to bullying by peers" (Critchley, 2018), and child recipients of disability bullying often exhibit a noticeable bullying-induced disability worsening and suspended general progress.
As one who endured years of bullying for being "different" and criminal victimization, I know firsthand how psychologically and physiologically debilitating bullying can be. It had reduced me to a stagnant couch potato-the exact opposite of who I really am. With my prevailing compassion for others despite my own circumstances, I knew something had to be done!
This is why I founded National Making The First Move Day®. As seen in Chase's Calendar of Events, National Making The First Move Day® is a national holiday celebrated annually on April 7 as an all-inclusive day for persons of all ages, demographics, and backgrounds to START MAKING THE FIRST MOVE TOWARDS BULLYING PREVENTION AND RECOVERY IN ALL FORMS™. Because I know how challenging "making the first move™" can be, and because research shows if one can make the first move, moves thereafter are much easier, I founded a day to help the disabled, abused, cyber bullied, shamed and taunted, threatened, fearful, and more feel empowered to START MAKING THE FIRST MOVE TOWARDS BULLYING PREVENTION AND RECOVERY IN ALL FORMS™-though everyone's first move may not be the same. In addition to being seen in Chase's Calendar Events all around the U.S., National Making The First Move Day® has received recognition in 2019 from the Mayor of New Orleans, LA-home of the New Orleans Saints, proclamations from Mayor of Ruston, LA-noted for Louisiana Tech Alumni Terry Bradshaw, Karl Malone, and Trace Adkins; and Mayor of Marksville,LA-home of Governor Edwin Edwards and NFL player, D'Anthony Batiste, and is expected to receive more recognition and proclamations in the coming months.
The Official Annual National Making The First Move Day® Celebration will be held on Sunday, April 7, 2019 from 2:00-4:30 pm CST in Shreveport, LA. Celebrating National Making The First Move Day® by wearing red, white, and green, for purity of passion in growth and new beginnings; posting your first move on social media with the hashtag #mtfmoveday; posting your photo/video "evidence" online of you "making the first move™" as an accountability mechanism; singing our theme song; and choosing an mtfmoveday buddy to hold you accountable through the year for the first move you committed to is awesome!
As a bullying prevention and recovery advocate and service provider, I offer services to help the disabled and/or their caregivers if applicable identify their first move towards bullying recovery and prevention of future bullying, and develop a comprehensible individualized coaching plan for them to follow. I am effective because I have lived it, and sincerely desire equality for the disabled and all.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Bullying. Retrieved from:
Critchley, C. (2018, August 10). Mental health of teens significantly harmed by peer bullying. Medical XPress. Retrieved from:
National Bullying Prevention Center (2019). Bullying Statistics. Retrieved from:
National Center For Education Statistics (2018). Bullying. Retrieved from:
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