Bullying in the Workplace
On February 14th 1999, Silvia Braun, a policewoman from Bavaria/Germany did not appear in her office in Munich. Some of her colleagues found the 22-year-old woman later in her car on a service area on a highway she had shot herself with her own rifle. Braun, an ambitious and determined woman, had no money problems, she did not suffer from any mental illness and she was not in love with someone who did not return her feelings. What was it that had made life unbearable for her? She had been being bullied for almost one year. She felt being humiliated, intimidated and sexually molested by her superior. This case shows how disastrous and dangerous bullying in the workplace can be.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases of workplace bullying do not become that prominent but bullying takes place everywhere. In begins at school, occurs in small and large companies, in government offices and even in charitable organizations. There are several reasons why victims of bullying often keep quiet. Some of them feel embarrassed and blame themselves for not being accepted by their colleagues. Others are frightened that everything becomes even worse once they have raised their voice against their punishers who might take cruel revenge on the accusations. Another problem is that it takes a lot of time from a victim's complaint about being bullied to the time the culprit is punished if he or she is punished at all! Many victims understandably do not have the stamina to endure the fight against their oppressors and give in.
Bullying occurs in many different forms in the workplace. In the fewest cases people use physical violence to harass their workmates. It is the psychological terror that can destroy somebody's whole life. For instance, a superior may constantly criticize your work no matter if the work is perfectly done or not. Even worse for those affected by bullying is social isolation. Nobody talks to you,