onafhankelijke website
The Scapegoat Phenomenon
An Analysis of Mobbing
Icon E-mail: hulp@pesten.net

What's the aim of this website?
This website, Helpsite for Bullying Victims (or in Dutch: "Hulpsite voor Slachtoffers van Pesten"), aims to:
  1. Provide information and help to victims of bullying;
  2. Contribute to banishing bullying from society.
Bullying is a worldwide problem and occurs in many different forms. For the time being, this site aims exclusively on helping to counter bullying at schools. We focus on the Dutch language area, i.e. mainly The Netherlands and Flanders.

Then why is this section in English?
This English language section is targeted especially to anyone who doesn't speak Dutch, but who does master English. We want to make known what we are doing to anyone who is interested. We hope that people will start a website like this one, servicing their own country, region or language area, anywhere in the world. We would like to exchange ideas and experiences about how to bring the bullying issue out in the open, about how to effectively counter bullying, and about how to help bullying victims.

How do we want to reach our goals?
We want to help bullying victims by giving them support and extensive information. In that way we try to make victims more selfconscious, and provide them with possible means to liberate themselves from their bullies and bullying troubles. If a victim asks for personal help, we will try and offer direct help as much as possible. Besides this we want to contribute to making others more aware of the bullying problem by offering a wide variety of information about it. In principle we direct our message to everyone, but especially to parents, teachers, managers, administrators, and students. We want to make clear that the bullying problem is not only a deep personal tragedy for every victim, but also a big problem for society as a whole. Unfortunately the bullying issue is still very much underestimated and played down. We think that the problem can be solved. Effective ways to counter bullying do exist. However, these methods only work if they are applied in a serious fashion by committed people. In short, this website tries to answer the following questions:
  • What is the bullying problem?
  • Why is bullying such a serious problem?
  • What causes bullying?
  • Which effects does bullying have on both victims and society as a whole?
  • Which strategies exist to counter bullying?
  • What's the attitude of political representatives torwards the bullying problem?
What exactly are the contents of this website?
Well, there's a lot of information on our website, and it would be a lot of work to translate everything. In short, we focus on three groups:
  • Help for pupils/students
  • Information for teachers and parents
  • Documentation for people looking for background info
In the not too distant future we will probably add a section for workers who are victims of mobbing on the job.

Specifically our present sections cover:
  • What bullying is
  • Stories of bullying victims (supplied by them with their permission)
  • How to get help, and help yourself
  • How a parent can recognize a child is bullied
  • How to deal with the school in countering bullying
  • The things a school can do to counter bullying
  • If the school doesn't take appropriate measures
  • Reasons why a school sometimes doesn't take appropriate measures
  • Dealing with a school that doesn't act the way it should
  • Examples of how schools don't act appropriately
  • What the teachers and schools themselves have to say about all this
  • What politics could do to counter bullying
  • What the political parties want to do
  • Publications about bullying
  • The news media about bullying
  • Links
  • Contact us to get help
  • Tell us your ideas
How did this website come about?
This website came into existence in the fall of 1998. On his personal website a father in the Netherlands told about his experiences with the school in which his son was being bullied. The school didn't want to fight the bullying problem, and even contributed to making life much more difficult for his son. Apart from this, a former bullying victim was curious about what was available about bullying on the Internet. He found the father's personal website, and contacted him. They started mailing each other more and more, and came up with the idea to create a website aiming to cover the bullying problem in a more general way, and to have the provision of help to victims as its main goal. Within a couple of months they opened a website based with a provider of free web space, and wrote the main documents. Also Mr. Bob Van Der Meer was contacted, a leading researcher in the field of bullying. Fortunately he decided to cooperate. In the beginning we moved the site to new providers several times because of technical difficulties. Due to these difficulties, the increasing numbers of visitors to the site, the many encouraging messages we got, the increased call for help, and our plans to actively promote our website, we decided to switch to a more professional approach in March 1999. We opened our own Internet domain: www.pesten.net.
By the way, the word "pesten" means "bullying" in Dutch.

What you can do to help.
If you want to help, you could do this in three ways:
  1. Make the concept of this website known to others
  2. Start a website like this in your own country or language area, if there's not already one present
  3. Let us know if and how the bullying problem is tackled in your part of the world
You can reach us at  hulp@pesten.net

Greetings, thanks for your attention, and good luck!