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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



January 20th, 2015

PTSD sufferers: Be smart consumers of prolonged exposure therapy

After PTSD, More Trauma
By David J. Morris, New York Times, Jan. 17, 2015

David J. Morris, a former Marine infantry officer, is the author of the forthcoming book The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

WBI: In an ongoing search for answers for trauma sufferers, many of whom are part of the bullied target population, we re-post this essay.

Going in for therapy at a Veterans Affairs hospital is a lot like arriving at a large airport in a foreign country. You pass through a maze of confusing signage. Your documents are scrutinized. There are long lines you must stand in and a series of bureaucratic rituals that must be endured before anything resembling a human encounter occurs.

In April 2013, after doing a series of intake interviews and sitting on a waiting list for three months, I had my first human encounter with my assigned therapist at the big V.A. hospital in San Diego. Little did I know that the delay in treatment would be less agonizing than the treatment itself.

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines | Post Comment



January 20th, 2015

Bullied mature university student tells her tale

Bullying Doesn’t Stop When You Leave School
By Sarah Ivens, Daily Mail (UK), Jan. 17, 2015

Journalist and mother Sarah Ivens endured months of spirit-crushing bullying as a mature university student. Here she explains what happened when she finally gained the courage to stand up to her tormentor.

Tears stung my eyes and my face burned red-hot with humiliation and fear. Don’t cry, don’t cry, I urged myself, as my tormentor continued to mock me in front of the entire class: ‘I mean, what a stupid thing to say!’ She glared at me disdainfully. ‘Does anyone have anything to say that is worth listening to? She clearly doesn’t!’

My fellow students giggled and regarded me mockingly. I tugged at my ponytail so that my hair fell loosely around my shoulders, shielding my crumpled expression from their gaze.

The scene did not take place at school: I wasn’t a naughty child in the playground or a rebellious teen whose teacher had finally had enough. I was 37 years old, a mother of one and had enrolled at university to do a master’s in literature where my female professor had been making my life hell for three months. I felt worn out and pathetic.

As an adult, you think you’re done with these emotions. But bullying doesn’t always stop when you pick up your GCSE results. In the workplace, within families and even among tight friendship circles, many women are victims of mean-spirited, vicious tormentors – often other women – who make their lives hell.

A 2014 survey in the US by the Workplace Bullying Institute showed that 20 per cent of people feel they have been bullied in their adult life, and that women bullies choose female targets 68 per cent of the time.

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January 9th, 2015

Changes for policing suggested by Serpico

How Police Departments Can Mend the Rift with the Public

Police must be taught that the power entrusted to them is not theirs to use or abuse as they see fit.

By Frank Serpico, The Nation, January 7, 2015

WBI: Frank Serpico was an honest NYPD cop in the 1970’s who refused to be corrupted and was set up to be killed by fellow officers because he had broken the code to conform to what others were doing. He survived and testified against his brothers in blue. His story was made into a theatrical movie starring Al Pacino and a History Channel documentary. His comments on the current troubles with policing — excessive force used on black men and insubordination to the mayor — seem more credible than opinions of others without his personal experience. The words below are his.

In 1971, shortly after exposing widespread, even systemic corruption amounting to millions of dollars in bribes and illegitimate relationships between the New York Police Department and criminals citywide, I was shot point-blank by a dealer during a buy-and-bust drug operation. My backup team failed to call 911, but an elderly Latino tenant did, saving my life. I was awarded the Medal of Honor by the NYPD—not for exposing corruption, but for being shot while engaging a drug dealer.

To this day, many officers believe I gave the department a black eye. I’ve been vilified for speaking out about corruption and the excessive use of force, for holding my colleagues accountable and for reminding them of their mission: first and foremost, to protect and serve the community.

Decades later, more and more citizens across the country are losing faith in our justice system, with brazen acts of police brutality frequently captured on cellphone videos; the militarization of police forces through the acquisition of war-machine surplus; continuing racial tensions coupled with a lack of initiative for community policing; and the sentencing of minor offenders to long terms in for-profit prisons, where they essentially become indentured servants.

Over the past month, police officers from around the country assembled in New York City to mourn the loss of two of their brothers in blue, who had been slain by a disturbed gunman. Relations between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio fell to a new low after many officers at the memorials—spurred by incendiary rhetoric from Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association—turned their backs on the mayor as he spoke. Such puerile behavior constitutes conduct unbecoming an officer and insubordination, and it should be disciplined as such.

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Posted in Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Guest Articles | 1 Comment



January 8th, 2015

Attn: SS Disability beneficiaries, new Congress takes aim at the vulnerable

WBI: Because of the extreme health harm bullying causes, some targeted individuals, with help from their physicians and psychotherapists, were granted paltry amounts of monthly Social Security Disability payments on which their survival is entirely dependent. Republicans in the House included an obscure rule change on opening day of the 114th Congress that altered how Social Security trust fund transfers money to fund SS Disability. They made transferring funds (reallocation) contingent upon either increasing the SS tax or cutting benefits. It is estimated that starting in 2016, disability recipients will suffer a 20% decrease in their benefit.

Dear disinterested/apathetic/dim-witted American voters — pay attention to elections and who you send to Congress and your state legislatures. This is what we have brought upon ourselves.

From the office of Sen. Sherrod Brown: Reallocation is a simple procedure used by Congress to rebalance how Social Security payroll tax revenues are apportioned between the two trust funds – the equivalent of transferring money from a checking to a savings account. Reallocation is commonsense, bipartisan policy that has been utilized by both parties 11 times since 1957 – most recently in 1994, including four times under Ronald Reagan. It was projected that the 1994 reallocation would keep the trust fund solvent until 2016.

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, The New America | 1 Comment



January 5th, 2015

WBI defines and illustrates abusive conduct for California supervisors

Attention California (& all other) Employers

California AB2053 extracted one paragraph from the WBI Healthy Workplace Bill — the definition of “abusive conduct” and made it mandatory to acquaint supervisors and managers with the phenomenon every two years beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

WBI is the source of the phrase and the U.S. movement. There is no better qualified vendor to provide the necessary information to augment your sexual harassment training than WBI.

WBI produced a brief 20 min. video introduction that can be streamed for intranet posting or run during in-person education sessions.

Only $499. Order today.

Products for HR and employers from the originators of the workplace bullying consulting specialization in America.

Order online or call 360-656-6630

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January 5th, 2015

As state legislatures begin their 2015-16 sessions

By Sherrill Gilbert, Vermont State Coordinator, the Healthy Workplace Campaign

The gavel will again call to order the Senate and the House. They will take an oath to serve the people of Vermont. The issues that impact the lives of Vermonters will once again be on the agendas, some will be re-introduced from the previous biennium. There are bills that were and still are valid and important to our community as a whole and the future of our workers and future generations. Workplace Bullying is controversial, it needs to be a public conversation and not hidden away as it has been the past seven years.

The Healthy Workplace Bill has been in the legislature since 2007, a few individuals decided they did not want this bill to be voted upon in committee nor did they want a public hearing on Bullying in the Workplace. This conversation would mean they would have to acknowledge bullying happens here and for several years they have turned their backs on the workers who have been abused by bullies.

There is a battle being fought in many workplaces here in Vermont in all fourteen counties. We are not alone, every state faces the same issues across America. Like all wars there are casualties. This war is no difference in that there are victims who are left broken, their lives are forever changed. For the bully this would not be enough, they would have to add more suffering and pain for the target, transferring the element of shame, the bully transfers the shame upon the target Stripping Targets of their self-esteem, their dignity and self-confidence publicly can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. We are talking about a psychological warfare, no bullets that can be seen or outward bruising.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Workplace Bullying Laws | 1 Comment



January 5th, 2015

Debunking a Puritanical myth that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

What doesn’t kill you doesn’t necessarily make you stronger
By Virgie Townsend, Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2015

WBI: In this frank and personally revealing essay, the author effectively counters the notion that all traumatic early experiences in life contribute to the construction of a stronger adult character. It’s noteworthy that 44% of bullied targets admit experiencing prior familial abuse in their lives before their workplace experiences with abuse (WBI IP 2013-H).

When I was 15, I attended a writing workshop with a girl who had been sexually abused by a family member, trauma that she explored in her poetry. She said she was offended when people told her: “I’m really sorry that happened to you.” She felt like they were saying they wanted to change her, so she’d reply: “Don’t be. It made me who I am today.”

I also grew up with violence, terrified of a parent who was verbally and physically abusive, and drove drunk with me and my siblings in the backseat. Sometimes this parent would threaten to choke me with a dog collar or would fire off shotgun rounds overhead for the fun of seeing the rest of the family cower. I am glad my classmate found a way to cope with her past, but I can’t be grateful for mine.

I would have been better off without that dog collar, without those years of fear. After such episodes, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t concentrate on my homework. I repeatedly failed state math exams. My immune system was weak. As a child, I had frequent, unexplained fevers, which baffled my pediatrician and led him to test me for cancer.

It was difficult for me to make friends because of the pressure I felt to keep my home life a secret. Between the abuse and my innate shyness, I mostly avoided other kids, which was easy because I was home-schooled until ninth grade. I tried to stay quiet around my peers; I didn’t want to draw attention. And I constantly second-guessed how I acted around them, afraid that I might disgust or anger others, too.

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Posted in Bullying & Health, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | Post Comment



January 2nd, 2015

A Meaningful New Year’s Resolution: Gain in-depth knowledge about workplace bullying origins & solutions

A Meaningful New Year’s Resolution

• To acquire a mastery of all aspects of the workplace bullying phenomenon: history of the international movement, distinguishing bullying from conflict and incivility, profiles of perpetrators and targets, origins and sustaining factors, understanding coworkers’ actions, explaining counterintuitive and nonsensical patterns and practices, solutions for individuals and work teams and unions and managers and employers, introduction to international laws and American attempts to enact legislation.

• To familiarize yourself with the science that provides the knowledge foundation for the movement (over 320 articles provided to you)

• To apply, with legitimate authority, the new knowledge to your workplace in your organizational role, or to teach your union colleagues, or to add the specialty to your professional work, or to become an advocate.

• To overcome employer misunderstandings about, and resistance to eliminating, abusive workplace conduct

• To improve the lives of those currently suffering; to preclude misery for future targeted individuals

There’s only one way to accomplish it … attend WBI’s Workplace Bullying University®

WB University is the nation’s first and only comprehensive training in workplace bullying for professionals. Attendees include entrepreneurs, HR directors, training directors, organizational consultants, EEO investigators, union officers, managers, attorneys, nurses, physicians, academic researchers, counselors, psychologists, and social workers.

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January 2nd, 2015

Time for courageous, principled lawmakers to enact the WBI anti-abuse Healthy Workplace Bill

If not now, when will principled lawmakers come forward to not only introduce, but to work tirelessly to enact, legislation that holds employers accountable for allowing (through indifference or ignorance) or fostering (through rewards, both explicit and implicit) health-harming abusive conduct, a.k.a., workplace bullying?

Wanted Brave Lawmakers to pass legislation for bullied workers We seek elected officials who can resist arguments of pro-business lobbyists who make false claims about our Healthy Workplace Bill.

Here are some of those lies and distortions espoused by HWB opponents followed by the truth according to terms and provisions of the actual legislation.

1. Workplace bullying sounds childlike. Bullying is for kids; adults work.

The term does not appear in the text of the HWB bill. Instead, lawsuits will require demonstrably health-harming abusive conduct be shown that was followed by the employer’s decision to punish the plaintiff with negative employment actions. Nothing infantile about abuse. Arguing “for abuse” should be condemned for not only poor “optics” but for the immorality of the position.

2. Bullying is too subjective. It cannot be defined.

So is sexual harassment, though illustrations can be given. But the perception’s of the allegedly harassed recipient must be treated as credible until shown to be otherwise. This bill reflects the same subjectivity contained in civil rights statutes. By adding significant evidentiary burdens for the plaintiff, such as malice, proof of health harm, and a demonstrated pattern of repeated misconduct, the definition of abusive conduct approaches a more objective standard than long-standing harassment laws.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Workplace Bullying Laws | 1 Comment



December 31st, 2014

Wishing everyone a bullying-free 2015

Happy New Years 2015 from the Workplace Bullying Institute

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Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2 | 1 Comment



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