BEL AIR—Famed attorney Robin Sax speaks with Canyon News about the recent problem plaguing the nation: teen bullying. During the past month, almost a dozen young teens have committed suicide due to peer bullying. Sax, who appears regularly on shows such as “Issues With Jane Velez Mitchell,” “Nancy Grace” and “Entertainment Tonight,” offers her advice as a former prosecutor, parent and advocate for victims who are affected by domestic violence and many other forms of abuse.
Robin offers our readers her honest and frank advice on how to teach your children not to become and continue being a victim, how to parent children who may even be the bullies and most of all, her best advice if you find yourself being bullied and feel that there is nowhere to turn. I asked the victims’ rights attorney some of the questions I’ve been asked over the past few weeks by readers. Here are a few that were asked more than once.
Q-Robin, do you believe our nation can help solve the problems currently, so rampant with teenagers who are gay or different in some way, from being bullied?
A-“I think just like any other issue of abuse —child abuse, sexual assault, stalking etc. the only way for bullying to stop is to get national attention and national awareness to come up with solutions.”
Q-As an advocate for victims, do you believe that cyber bullying can permanently affect the victims?
A-“I look at bullying as a form of abuse. And abuse has long-term effects based on the type of abuse, the length of it, the nature of it and how it was handled when it stopped. There are two ugly outcomes that stem from learning to view yourself as a less than desirable, incapable individual. The first ugly outcome is that it becomes more likely that you will become increasingly susceptible to becoming depressed and/or angry and/or bitter. Being bullied teaches you that you are undesirable, that you are not safe in the world, and (when it is dished out by forces that are physically superior to yourself) that you are relatively powerless to defend yourself. When you are forced, again and again, to contemplate your relative lack of control over the bullying process, you are being set up for Learned Helplessness (e.g., where you come to believe that you can’t do anything to change your ugly situation even if that isn’t true), which in turn sets you up for hopelessness and depression. One does not need to be victimized by bullying forever to be traumatized by it. Sometiems a person can be a victim just after a short time of being victimized by a bully.”
Q-What can parents of kids who bully do to curb their child’s bad behavior?
A-“Who is the boss of your house? Who sets the pace, dictates the flow and calls the shots? In the courtroom, it appears that it is the judge who wears the black robe, sitting in cushy elevated chairs and being called ”˜Your Honor’ is the one who is in charge. And while judges are important members of the judicial system, they are not necessarily the ones in charge. Just ask any defense attorney or defendant who is the boss. More often than not, it is the prosecutor who has the control. In the home, it is the parents. Parentsmodel behavior, the good, the bad and the ugly for kids to observe. Modeling teaches kids by example, whether it’s communication, actions or behavior. The best way to teach children how to express themselves is by expressing your true feelings. To teach children about consequences, you need to be able to communicate natural consequences that occur in your own life.”
Q-Robin, What is the best advice you could give a young teenager or vulnerable person who feels they are being bullied?
A-“To speak up! Kids/teenagers need to tell and tell and tell until someonedoes something.”
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