Workshop focuses on anti-bullying strategies


Photo by Sarah Piercey – Peter Sacco led a workshop at Pelham Library recently about anti-bullying strategies.

Photo and story by Sarah Piercey – Peter Sacco is a very busy man. In between his chaotic schedule of doing various radio shows, hosting Niagara Most Haunted on Cogeco, and writing books, he found time to visit the Pelham Public Library last Wednesday evening to speak out against bullying.

Much like kids in the school yard, adults can bullied in the workplace or in their relationships. The different kinds of bullying fall in to four categories: Physical, verbal, sexual and emotional/psychological, and each group can happen direct or indirectly.

“A lot of people just don’t feel like they don’t fit in these days,” he said. “A lot of people have low self-esteem so what they develop are feelings of inferiority and they have an inferiority complex. For some people the complex’s will become withdrawn, depressed, insecure or scared,”

“A third or more of them will overcome it; they’ll better themselves and feel good,” he said. “They will develop self-esteem, better self-concept and then you get that one smaller group. What they do is develop a superiority complex so in order to feel strong and powerful, they bully other people.”

For children, the number one place to be bullied is on the internet, followed by school. He informed the group of astonishing statistics like “The average kid gets 213 ‘put downs’ per week” and that more than an estimated 160,000 kids miss school due to bullies each year.

Whether a child, adult or elderly person, at work or at home, the people who are most likely to get bullied lack social skills, are anxious, insecure, or cry a lot. People with previous trauma in their life, physically weak or small, or are emotionally, or behaviourally different.

Adults also experience bullying daily. In relationships, it could start out as small comments or jabs that eventually escalate into full bullying over time. The majority of adults who don’t want to go to work daily are bullied by bosses or co-workers, leaving their workplace every day feeling bad about themselves or the work they done. Some even falling in to depression, a misunderstood mental heath issue, which could lead to going on disability.

Most importantly he told the group how to stop a bully from the beginning and how to spot a person who may be being bullied. Sacco says bullying has to be stopped at a young age. This is because most bullies are on a trajectory for abuse or violence later in life. They are also more likely to fall into drugs, alcohol and hanging out with the wrong crowds.

To spot if your child or friends may be the victim of a bully look for signs such as head and stomach aches, emotional hurt can manifest into physical pain. Nightmares or a lack of sleep, being evasive, staying isolated in their room, or withdrawing from the world are also clear signs of depression. If a child is frequently losing things or not eating lunch, school kids could actually be taking them.

If you or another adult you know is being bullied, he said “Read books. I definitely believe that’s a great place. Read inspirational books; autobiographies by people that came from poverty that came from abusive backgrounds and see what they did to succeed. Watch movies, inspirational movies and get involved with meet up groups. There’s meet up groups out there.”

Part of it is once you start there, start to connect with people, you’re building your self-concept which promotes self-esteem which will then promote a sense of mastery in your life and you’ll feel better.”

For kids he says “I’ve always said with kids, a great place to go and start is join a martial arts group. Not to learn how to fight and defend yourself, which is part of it, I have no qualms with that but yet what you’re learning is discipline, like self-discipline but also confidence, it builds it, and whether it be martial arts or athletics, just something like that.”

Sacco has been a professor, teaching all over since 1995 and has a PhD in Criminal Psychology. He is also a best-selling author and has many books covering bulling for adults and children, as well as elder abuse. Some of his work can be downloaded at for free.

For more information on him and his work, visit his website at

Sarah Piercey is a second year Niagara College Journalism student doing her job placement with Erie Media. 



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