IT takes courage to stand up to bullies.
Those who victimise, pick on or bully others usually hate themselves or suffer in other ways and take out their pain on people they perceive to be weaker than themselves.
There are all sorts of reasons and bullying, both for victims and perpetrators, is a vicious cycle that can end in catastrophe.
Although media campaigns have made people more aware of bullying in recent times, it is still prolific in schools, in workplaces and of course on social media, where it has become particularly nasty because the bullies can remain anonymous.
Vicious bile spouted by so-called “trolls’’ on social media — and often aimed at women and young girls — have resulted in self-harm and suicides.
For vulnerable teenagers especially, bullying is the worst thing that can happen at a time when they are going through tumultuous change in their lives or dealing with the pressure of schoolwork or difficulties at home.
Warrnambool sisters Amanda and Leah Bolden have both been victims of bullies, but now they are making a stand.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, they told how they had started a Facebook page with the aim of sharing their stories with others as a way of helping those who might be suffering at the hands of bullies.
The pair were bullied at school but now as young adults they have realised that they have learnt from their bad experiences and become stronger and better people.
Such a positive message after years of bullying is heartening and the girls should be an inspiration to those who are or have been victims of bullying, whether it be at home, at school, at work or on the internet.
There is hope and there are people out there who are willing to help and to understand.
As Leah said yesterday: “You are so much better than a bully will ever be. You just have to keep telling yourself that you don’t have to go through it alone.’’
Well said Leah and good luck.