We try to contain abuse by generating what Shawn Achor calls "counter-facts."

Coaches are under such pressure to have their teams perform. They are under a microscope. Anybody would lose it in those conditions.

A jazz teacher's love of music leads him to challenge his students to perform at the highest levels. We have to sacrifice the student to the art. Right?

We argue that teachers lose their temper because the system ties the children's achievement to their pay. In fact, we say, teachers are the ones being bullied.

We strive to say that abuse occurred because the sport program is so intense. We say the same thing about music: the teacher has to achieve a spectacular performance and so must try to get every ounce out of his students.

Children make them feel afraid and insecure, we argue. The stress comes from the government and from parents, we rationalize. Teachers cannot be held accountable for what they do and they rarely are.

We say that bullying happens in the workplace because it's how we achieve and it's all about the bottom line. If people don't want to be in a tough work environment, they can get other jobs. The workplace isn't a toxic environment; it has to be this way to generate revenue.

And finally, we say to ourselves that abuse happens in a church. The minister must be removed and sent away because the reputation of the church must be protected at all costs. And the minister or priest or whichever religious leader it is, goes on to the next parish and the next set of unsuspecting victims. This is common with teachers as well.

This is exactly what led to the film that explores this kind of thinking, Whiplash, which we study in the course.

These arguments are convincing on the surface, but unfortunately they are myths.

They are deeply entrenched in our society: children must be sacrificed to protect adult's jobs and reputations; children must be sacrificed to maintain the integrity of the religious institution or the beauty of music; employees must be sacrificed so the company hits its revenue targets.

This final course in the R8 System is to demonstrate that abuse is abuse is abuse. It happens all the time, in all situations, in every context. It harms far too many and we can change that with knowledge and effort.

So if you are dealing with abuse, then stop generating counter-facts and face the abuse head on. Figure out who is doing it. Gather reports. Note patterns. Bring the perpetrator(s) in to discuss and take next steps. Hold them accountable.

Victims need support, healing, repair, and recovery. Perpetrators need rehabilitation and a second chance...far away from the school, sport organization, workplace or club. They must acknowledge fully and publicly what they have done and seek the path of rehabilitation. They can be given another chance, perhaps, but only with full transparency.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    R8 Step 8: Abuse in Cyber-Space, Arts, Clubs & Religion

    • How To Navigate This Course

    • Introduction: When suicide became bullycide

    • R8 8 introduction

    • R8 Step 8 Introduction Quiz

  • 2

    R8 Step 8 Module One

    • R8 8 Module One: Whiplash

    • R8 8 module 1

    • R8 8 Module 1 Quiz

  • 3

    R8 Step 8 Module Two

    • R8 8 Module Two: Telling the Story of Abuse

    • R8 8 module 2 part 1

    • R8 8 module 2 part 2

    • R8 8 Module 2 Quiz

  • 4

    R8 Step 8 Module Three

    • R8 8 Module 3: Abuse as a necessary evil

    • R8 8 module 3

    • R8 8 Module 3 Quiz

  • 5

    R8 Step 8 Module Four

    • R8 8 Module 4

    • R8 8 module 4 part 1

    • R8 8 module 4 part 2

    • R8 8 Module 4 Quiz

  • 6

    R8 Step 8 Module Five

    • R8 8 Module 5: Abuse in the Catholic Church

    • R8 8 module 5 part 1

    • R8 8 module 5 part 2

    • R8 8 Module 5 Quiz

  • 7

    R8 Step 8 Module Six

    • R8 8 Module 6: The Psychology of Enabling Abuse

    • R8 8 module 6

    • R8 8 Module 6 Quiz

  • 8

    R8 Step 8 Module Seven

    • R8 8 Module 7: Abuse in Boy Scouts

    • R8 8 module 7 part 1

    • R8 8 module 7 part 2

    • R8 Module 7 Quiz

  • 9

    R8 Step 8 Workshop

    • R8 Step 8 Workshop

    • R8 8 workshop

  • 10

    Assignment for Those Taking the Course for Pro-D or Continuing Ed Credits

    • Assignment

  • 11

    Further Resources for Training

    • References

Meet Your Instructor


Dr. Jennifer Fraser

Dr. Jennifer Fraser is an award-winning educator and best-selling author on Amazon. Featured in the Huffington Post, National Workplace Bullying Coalition; Toronto Star, Changing The Game Project; National Alliance for Youth Sports; and Edutopia along with many other media outlets and foundations, Jennifer advocates for the rights of students and individuals to learn in an abuse-free environment.

With a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto, Jennifer's development of the R8 System is in response to the devastation of bullying and abuse to organizations. She has a forthcoming book entitled The Bullied Brain: What Neuroscientists Know about Brain Scars and How To Heal Them.

Are you ready to learn from arts, clubs, and religion case studies why abuse continues to harm so many?