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Sharing experiences

Knowledge is power as they say. jfo hopes to bring you lots of knowledge but another vital ingredient in fighting bullying in individual cases is experience. This can be provided informally through support groups or forums but that is usually relative to a fixed period when the experience is shared. jfo plans to create a database of personal experiences in each area of the cycle of being bullied so that all visitors, now and in the future, may gain this insight.

In the planning of limited resources for the website, an interactive database was decided would be the better option, without having to compromise on quantity and quality of information. jfo:i is the interactive side of jfo, to find out more, see here. jfo and jfo:i is for all targets everywhere: whatever is put in will help many others later on. If it helps you, please carry the cycle of support forward by sharing your experiences with others and we may stand a chance of breaking the cycle of workplace bullying.

Here is a list of the experiences that can be shared and what they may consist of:

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Work

The bullying - how you were treated, how you reacted, what direct action you took and whether it was effective to stop the bullying.

Internal Action - experiences of your employers grievance process, what happened, the outcome and whether it was satisfactory including whether sanctions were taken against the bully, the issue of witnesses being prepared to come forward, the role and support by HR, management and unions and any appeal that you submitted.

What happened next - experiences of going back to the same job or employer after a period of sick leave due to workplace bullying, having to leave your job including leaving voluntarily, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, terminated through frustration of contract or ill-health retirement.

Moving on - experiences of looking and finding a new job after suffering workplace bullying that may have included sick leave and taking action, internal or legally, the issue of gaps in your cv, employer references, explaining and/or disclosing illnesses and/or sick leave to new employers, being unable to continue in your old career and possible changes of direction in your career.

Health

At work - this may include how you coped with working with depression or other health issues, when and what the reaction was from your employer if you disclosed it.

The system - this may include how you were treated by medical professionals, complaints against them, waiting lists, available of suitable treatment.

Diagnosis - this may include being unable to come forward to ask for help and later consequences of that, the psychological issues of being diagnosed with a 'mental' health problem and the stigma attached to it, getting a wrong diagnosis, unsuitable treatment due to the wrong diagnosis and any future knock on effect on litigation that this may have had.

Medication - this may include the benefits, side effects and withdrawal symptoms of medication including alternatives, the support of medical professionals in finding the right medication for you or how you dealt with Treatment Resistant Depression.

Other treatment - this may include psychological interventions such as psychotherapy, CBT or counselling, trauma related treatments such as EMDR or TIR and complementary therapy such as acupuncture, aromatherapy or reflexology.

Relationships - you may wish to let others know what the impact of the bullying and fighting your case has had on your relationships and how you and your partner, family or friends coped.

Support

Support group etc - this may include being a support group organiser, volunteer, forum moderator or buddy and what you got out of it, belonging to a support group, forum or buddy type system and how it helped.

People involved, support received - the people involved in bullying experiences is sometimes extensive and many can offer support. This section may include the experience of being supported by a witness, manager, union rep, HR person, solicitor or barrister.

People involved, support given - the experiences section may also include those people above sharing their experience of giving support.

Relationships - this may include the experience of support from a partner, family or friends or from their point of view of them giving support. (There is also a dedicated family and friends discussion area on jfo:i for use by friends/family of the Online Target Support Group members)

Litigation

The employer - this may include their response to your legal claim, how they treated you, whether you were further victimised because of it, how this affected your employment and or working environment if you were still at work, whether this had any impact on any reference.

Employment Tribunals - this may cover (UK) unfair or constructive dismissal, discriminatory issues such as race, sex or disability or whistleblowing. You may also wish to lodge details with InTouch about any specific tribunal panel/location that you feel made a flawed decision.

Civil cases - this may cover (UK) personal injury, breach of contract or Health & Safety legislation.

Criminal cases - although rare, this may include (UK) prosecutions under the Protection from Harassment Act and Health & Safety legislation.

Outcomes - this may include compromise agreements, gagging/confidentiality clauses and how you dealt with them, decisions that were flawed and what you did, such as appeals.

When things go wrong - How you were treated by union reps, unions, solicitors, barristers, and official complaints against any of the aforementioned.

Financial

At work - this may include sick pay and exceptions made by the company to their policy, holiday pay, employer salary replacement schemes.

Off sick and not paid - this may include applying for and difficulties getting benefits such as (UK) incapacity benefit, industrial injury, income support, free health care (HC1), mortgage insurance schemes.

Legal - this may include how you funded your case, insurance policies to cover legal fees, no win no fee deals, alternatives to paying disbursements, free legal representation and getting access to pro bono lawyers and finally the financial outcome and impact of any legal action, win or lose.

Leaving your job/moving on - this may include termination payments, compromise agreements, funding retraining.

Campaigning

Individual action - this may include your experience of supporting an issue individually, such as the Dignity at Work Bill or writing to your MP or elected official and their response and interest in workplace bullying. For interest, there are some submissions available on jfo that were presented in the House of Lords for the Dignity at Work Bill and others are welcome.

Collective action - this may be through the actions of a support group or an umbrella organisation such as the Support Group Network.

In the media - there are usually lots of media opportunities and whilst there is a place on jfo:i for them to be posted, it is also important for others to learn from the experience of what happened, how you were treated and whether the outcome was what you expected.

Medical and other research - there is quite often research taking place into depression, ME, trauma etc and there is a place on jfo:i for them to be posted. It is important that targets get involved in this so that the link between bullying and illnesses become more well known. It would help for anyone interested to learn from the experience of others about what happened, how you were treated and whether the outcome was what you expected.

Other experiences on the menu above should also be referred to as the whole process is so tightly woven that cross-overs do occur.

As you can see, there are a whole range of issues that targets of bullying face. You may not have gone through all of them, but what you have, please give the benefit of your experience to others who may face similar situations - it may help them cope a little better, come out of it less damaged and move on quicker.

To post or read about experiences, please click on the jfo:i logo

For those posting, please include any tips and/or what would you differently next time. Individual forums are set up so that anyone looking can easily find the right experience that they find themselves in at that point. This is to make the area as user and webmaster friendly as possible and it therefore has to be managed accordingly. Please ensure that you use the correct forum. The experiences forums are not a discussion area, these are separate. The person who posts the experience will be able to edit or delete the posting at any time. Any message not fitting the forum criteria will be deleted.

If you think that there is any experience that needs its own forum or posting, please post the details in the User Forum within jfo:i.

 

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