TWO Warrnambool sisters are taking a brave stand against bullying.
Amanda and Leah Bolden have started a Facebook page and website, hoping to share their own stories while empowering others to stand up and not let bullies get them down.
The sisters have been victims of bullying for more than 14 years and Amanda, 22, said it continues today.
“I’ve been bullied by people I don’t know, by kids at school and even by adults,” Amanda said. “It’s been a tough journey for both of us, so that’s why we want to share our story and to let people know that it can get better.
“We are taking a stand together to try and put a stop to bullying. We want people to know our stories and how we’ve become stronger from being bullied, so that people can hopefully become stronger as well.
“We want people to know we are here to help them, that there are people who will listen.”
Amanda said when she was younger she would fake being sick so she didn’t have to go to school in an effort to avoid bullying. “I knew by staying home in my room I was safe and I wouldn’t have to listen to the horrible things people would say to me,” she said.
“It got worse in high school to the point where I wanted to run away. They affected me mentally and made me believe what they were saying was true.
“When I turned 21, I found a way to overcome it. I learnt to ignore. It still hurts sometime but I will never let it bring me down again.”
Leah said she ended up leaving school because the daily torment became too much.
“I would just sit in my room all day and think I was fat and ugly and no one wanted me,” she said.
“It hurts and nobody should have to go through it. People think it’s funny but they don’t know how much pain it causes.
“We really want people to come together and join us to stop bullying.”
The sisters said they wanted people who had been the victim of bullying, or were being bullied now, to stand tall, speak out and talk to someone
“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,” Leah said.
“Don’t waste your life on somebody who is bored and miserable with their own life and just want someone to pick on to make themselves look bigger.”
The sisters now hope to continue their campaign and are hoping of finding a sponsor to help them build on the work they have already done.
“We want to keep going to get the word out there that bullying isn’t OK,” Amanda said.
The sister’s page, Amanda & Leah’s Journey Through Tough Times Of Bullying, can be found on Facebook.