Community Justice at work

Staff writer
February 8, 2013 01:00 AM

Community Justice continues to be active on the Sunshine Coast by addressing minor offences involving youth in our schools and community.

The intention is consistent:support victims of crime by addressing the harms, and hold offenders accountable in order to repair and strengthen relationships.Property offences, minor assaults, vandalism and theft are just a few of the cases we deal with.

The article below was written by a youth who participated in a conference following a serious bullying incident. The agreement terms also included a letter of apology given in the circle and agreeing to abide by the terms of a "peace letter" to cease all negative contact. This matter has been successfully resolved with no further incidents between the parties.

Bullying is defined as: use of superior strength or influence to intimidate [someone], typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

Bullying causes people to feel worthless and that sometimes there is no point to living. It affects more than just the person on the receiving end.

An example of this is Amanda Todd.

This young girl made a couple of mistakes and people made her feel like she didn't want to live. Her death affected many - her family, the people with whom she cheered, and her friends. Bullying is a serious problem with young people and some adults. There are many cases of kids committing suicide, cutting and drug abuse. Making someone feel badly about themselves for a mistake, what they wear, or who they're friends with isn't OK. You may never know why they made that mistake, why they can't afford new clothes, or why they're friends with someone. Making a judgment on someone before you've walked in their shoes is wrong. You may not like the person, but accept that and move on.

There are many forms of bullying; cyber, physical, and the most commonly one used, verbal. Bullying may seem insurmountable, but there are many people you can turn to for help: a trusted teacher, counsellor, parent, sibling or a friend. And if you feel your well-being and security are at risk, talk to the police.

There's always someone there to help. Think before you speak. You never know if your words are someone's last straw.

- Submitted

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