Both of the founders of Bully Busters worked as therapists in an in-patient adolescent unit of a private psychiatric hospital in Bloemfontein.
It was found that bullying was one of the leading causes of psychological distresses amongst these adolescents, and that they often experienced symptoms of depression, anxiety and had a low self-esteem. Bullying has also been identified as a leading cause in adolescent suicide cases, whereby a new term “Bullycide” was coined for these increasing incidents.
Historically bullying ceased when the victim and the perpetrator parted, however this has drastically changed with the sporadic advancement of Cyber technology; thus, resulting in bulling happening at any time and any place and is termed “Cyber Bullying”. Cyber bullying is deemed to have exponentially escalated the incidence and intensity of bullying as the perpetrators have endless opportunity to continue to harass the victim.
Furthermore, the founder-therapists identified the following aspects while interacting with their bullied victims:
- Bullying often starts at a very young age.
- Children and adolescents don’t have the skills and/or knowledge to handle these situations.
- Adults surrounding them don’t handle these situations with the necessary sensitivity and often give the wrong advice.
- Children often don’t speak out about what is happening to them.
- The older children become, the less likely they are to tell an adult about bullying.
As a result of the above and the passion of the founding therapists to contribute toward the mental wellbeing of children and adolescents, the Bully Busters programmes were developed to empower and create a resilience against the toxic exposure of the “Bully”, the “Bullied” and the “Bystanders”.