More often than not, #CostumeClubs turn a blind eye to #bullying (#AdultBullying) occurring within their membership, even after a victim reports it.
There are various reasons why internal #CostumeClub bullying can occur unhampered:
- Victims don’t always or are unwilling to report the bullying that they’re being subjected to. This may happen because they may feel too intimidated or afraid to report it for fear of additional reprisals. This can be especially true in cases where the bully is friends with or has strong influence with current leadership, or if the bully is part of the leadership structure.
- Costume club leaders are not often willing to handle issues of internal conflict. A typical response from leadership to the victim who filed a complaint of harassment or bullying is, “Don’t do anything and it will probably go away.”
- Costume club leaders may claim that the club’s charter (or equivalent) lacks enforceable rules regarding harassment & bullying of members by other members.
- Costume club leaders upon receiving a complaint from a victim of bullying may blame the victim and, again, do nothing to stop the bullying that’s occurring.
Unchecked, bullying can go on for years because the bully(ies) is an adult, so they’re not going to “grow out of it”, which is a typical excuse used for child bullies. The person who bullies others obviously enjoys what they’re doing. This shows that they’re sadistic & compassionless. They may be narcissistic, sociopathic, a combination of the two, or have additional mental disorders.
When leaders fail to do their job of handling internal costume club conflicts, bullies can continue their bad behavior for years.
As recently deceased concentration camp survivor & long-time human rights advocate Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) once said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
- Costume club leaders must never ignore when a member reports being harassed & bullied, especially if the member has well-documented specific incidents of bullying.
- If you are the victim of recurring bullying in a costume club from another member, accurately document every occurrence of being bullied before filing a complaint against the bully with costume club leadership.
- If the bully is a friend of, has strong influence with or is a member of leadership of a costume club’s local chapter, don’t file a complaint locally. Either go to the leadership of a neighboring local chapter or take it directly to the national or international costume club leadership. Just make sure the complaint is well documented before filing.
- If a costume club’s charter fails to address the issue of internal bullying, the it is imperative that the costume club’s charter is amended to address the issue to include specific penalties for any member found guilty of bullying.
Ironically, most costume clubs will make public announcements (especially in social media) that they’re against bullying while failing to address the problem of internal bullying that may be occurring.