Everyone, in some form or another has been subject to bullying in their life. From the time we’re a small child and placed in a playpen with another child to when we go to school and even when we enter the workforce. Shoot – even as an adult I’m subject to people who think they can bully me.

The bullying I went through as a child/teenager is a bit different than it is today. Kids are kids and are mean no matter what year it is – but the means and ways have changed. I didn’t have internet back then (and I’m not all that old, thankyouverymuch). I was able to walk away from it, ride by bike home (or step off the school bus) and know that at least for the rest of the night I could breathe easier and garner strength for the next day.

Not so today. I have three girls and it’s both amazing and sad to watch and help them deal with this subject. It’s not just at school but it’s also online. They’re not on facebook yet but they play a game online sponsored by National Geographic that usually has my youngest in tears every day – all because she has kids from around the world unfriend her daily. My kids have limited time on the computer so even if they’re in the middle of a game (where they adopt other animals and take care of them) if their time is up – then they have to say goodbye to their adopted pets, put them to bed and see them the next day. Some ‘pets’ don’t like this … and will find other ‘parents’. My youngest sees this as people not liking her and she tries harder to be a better ‘animal parent’ so it doesn’t happen again.

Photo by nspt4kids.com

See – bullying comes in all forms. We might think it’s small, but to her – this has emotional affects. Why then do I let her continue to play? Same reason we don’t take our kids out of school when other kids are mean to them … there are life experiences that I can’t always shield her from – but I can help her to deal with it.

Today is “Speak Out! Against Bullying”. I hate watching my children have to deal with something that is human nature. I hate that there are other children out there with so much hurt in them that they feel the need to lash out at other children. I hate that bullying is ‘socially’ acceptable by most people. It’s wrong. It’s hurtful and can lead to consequences no parent wants to face. I might not be able to stop another child from bullying another – but I can stop my own children from being bullies and teach them how to handle bullies who come their way.

You might have seen the devastating news about teen Amanda Todd who took her own life this month because she was cyber-bullied. Perhaps you were bullied, are being bullied, or have a child who is going through this. Through author Ilie Ruby’s research for her new book, The Salt God’s Daughter, she found heart-breaking stories of 17 young women who were bullied to the point of taking their own lives like Amanda Todd. She recently talked about those women and her new book with Shape magazine in a beautiful essay found here: http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/sad-truth-about-bullying.

It happens as young as kindergarten, it can happen in middle school, in high school and even in the workplace as an adult.

In honor of October being National Anti-Cyberbullying Awareness month, I have joined the BookSparksPR in the Speaks Out Campaign and hope you will join to speak out against bullies.

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Post it: Post the attached anti-bullying badge on your blog on TODAY along with the book cover and info pasted below on Ilie Ruby’s book The Salt God’s Daughter
  • Facebook it:  Share the badge, this campaign (http://bit.ly/RCBDSZ) and your words against bullying via Facebook and tag us (BookSparksPR) so we can share too!
  • Buy it:  If you buy Ilie Ruby’s book, The Salt God’s Daughter, let us know and we’ll match with a donation to an anti-bullying organization. On October 24th only, if you buy the book for you, a friend, a holiday gift (great for mothers, daughters, friends, book clubs, etc) or all the above, send us your receipt(s) and we’ll be donating up to 20% of book sales that day (based on emailed receipts) to the “I Choose” anti-bullying campaign in support of BookSparksPR Speaks Out Against Bullying and all these victims.  Buy on Indie Bound; Buy on Amazon; or Buy on Barnes & Noble. Send receipts to contests@SparkPointStudio.com.

Join us in the BookSparksPR Speaks Out Campaign and make a difference! Here’s the post for your blog. Let us know if you’ll participate!

Speak out against bullying – The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby

To help make my difference – I will be giving away one copy of this book to anyone who comments on this post today. What about you? Will you help to make a difference? Post the badge on your facebook page or blog and tell me – how has bullying affected you?

Note from Ilie: The stories of the women who populate The Salt God’s Daughter were inspired by the confluence of real life and a Celtic myth, which I learned from a folksong my mother played on the guitar, The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry. While the myth is the map, its many roads reflect the experiences of my grandmothers, of my mother, of my friends, and of seventeen young girls I never knew but whose histories found me. My wish was to illuminate the female experience through generations–not only those times that are shrouded in shadows, but also those that are lovely and beautiful, and made indelible with light. At its heart this is a story about true love, sometimes found between mothers and daughters, in the secrets of sisters, and in the arms of the first person with whom you shared your heart. When all is said and done, this novel belongs to resolute sisters Ruthie and Dolly. They are my champions. Their journey of discovery and survival is the heart of this story.

Set in Long Beach, California, beginning in the 1970s, The Salt God’s Daughter follows three generations of extraordinary women who share something unique—something magical and untamed that makes them unmistakably different from others. Theirs is a world teeming with ancestral stories, exotic folklore, inherited memory, and meteoric myths.

In recognition of October being National Anti-Cyberbullying Awareness month, we are proud to speak out with BookSparksPR, book lovers and author Ilie Ruby against bullies.