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“Helping others contributes to my recovery”: victims of bullying at school, they no longer want to be silent

A boy a girl. Two parallel paths. Two versions of a darkened youth, long hindered, spoiled by a scourge that strikes nearly one in ten students: bullying (1). Two teenagers who, one day, after too much humiliation, spoke to end their suffering and, once accompanied, began the difficult reconstruction of themselves.

For Ewann, the test begins in CE2. “I only hung out with the girls. I think it made the other boys jealous ”, he analyzes. This “ difference “ serves as a pretext for a series of humiliations that will crescendo. Pinching, bites on the arms, insults, blows … With, as a corollary, a collapse in school results which leads him to repeat. Then at the start of college, the hunt continues on social networks. “I made myself sick so as not to go to class, I even tried to kill myself”, continues this young Breton.

→ ANALYSIS. Should we ban social networks for teens?

The turning point comes in fourth, when a girl who has persecuted him for a long time attacks him physically with great violence. “My face was bleeding. The school administration did not see fit to call my parents. It was I who took care of it. We went straight to the doctor and then to the gendarmerie to lodge a complaint. “ After a long instruction, the abuser gets away with a simple reminder of the law. In the meantime, Ewann, followed by a psychologist, has moved to another establishment, joining the professional path in a rural family home, with more attentive adults.

Up to ten anonymous calls per day

Candice, she falls into hell when she enters sixth grade. “A student from another class obviously started to feel hatred towards me, for no reason whatsoever”, relates the young girl, who lives in the Paris region. Jostling, criticism of her physique, rumors of imaginary sexual relations she would have had with a multitude of boys … Friends turn away from her. Very quickly, harassment occurs at any time on his phone. “Strangers called me up to ten times a day to tell me that I was a whore, a slut …I came to doubt myself, to wonder if I had not really sent a naked photo of myself to this or that boy ”, she recalls.

The harassment stops when her main attacker shows up, one weekend, at her home, to claim 50 €, on the pretext that one day when he was pushing her, she had dropped and broke her phone. “He threatened to come back with his father, with friends. My parents gave him to understand that they were waiting for them firmly. No one ever returned. “

Before this halt, several years passed, during which Candice hid from her parents the extent of the attacks targeting her. “I told myself that I was old enough to solve the situation on my own”, she breathes. Ewann, too, has long been quiet about the harassment that plagues him. “The nurse and the college teaching teams downplayed the problem, talking about ‘children’s games’, he explains. But when I told it all, it was a liberation, like the start of a new life. “

Open up to a trusted adult

“It is essential that the victim can open up to a trusted adult, who will take their point of view into account, will not judge them, will not approach the stalkers head-on if they do not wish to do so”, observes child psychiatrist Nicole Catheline. “It may be the parents, whom many bullied young people seek to protect, however. It can also be a third party, a football coach, a teacher… And then, do not hesitate to turn to the listening lines, like the 3018 or the 3020. “

The main thing, continues the psychopractor Emmanuelle Piquet, is to show the young “Let him keep hold of the situation he is going through”. That he can, for example, learn to use self-mockery to destabilize the stalker, before verbally counter-attacking so that he loses his pride with his “Public”.

→ MAINTENANCE. Harassment: we must “help the teenager to find resources within him to be able to respond”

In any case, Ewann, now aged 17, and Candide, 19, are determined not to be silent. Still haunted by the specter of harassment, to the point of hesitating to stop his baccalaureate pro commerce, he founded his own association, “Jeunesse France harassment”, which offers interventions in establishments and has set up a helpline. , with the help of a psychologist.

A student in a communication school, Candice has just joined as a volunteer the association “Marion La main tendue”, created by a mother, Nora Fraisse, in memory of her 13-year-old daughter who committed suicide in 2013 to escape to harassment. This weekend, Candice will speak in front of 200 students in Paris, in particular to tell possible victims “That they should not be ashamed”. And the young woman to assure: “Helping others contributes to my healing. “

“I have a hope subscription, unlimited plan”

This sentence, Tessæ could also have pronounced it. At 20, the Marseille rapper has just written a book in which she evokes her journey through depression, her school phobia, her anxiety disorder (2). “It was only in second, when I began to be followed medically, that the shrinks put a word on the origin of my suffering: the harassment”, she tells us.

A theme already present in his songs, as in the title Bling (“You thought I was going to lament for eternity / But I have a subscription for hope, an unlimited plan”).Music greatly helped her through this ordeal, to overcome her dark thoughts. “Harassment undermines self-esteem”, comments shrink Nicole Catheline. “And it’s crucial to keep activities that make us feel good. “

Today, Tessæ addresses the victims “A message of hope”, while warning against the banality of harassment: “In a society where everything is based on comparison and humor, words can easily hurt. You have to understand that we all have a different sensitivity, that we all have our own weaknesses. If we are not careful, we can all end up without really realizing it in the shoes of the stalker. “


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