Time to put a stop to ragging

GOING komando, Asrama harlem shake and Mamat bangla are only a few of the videos which have gone viral over social networking websites, depicting shameful acts of ragging. While it may be amusing for viewers, those involved may still be suffering the consequences.

The most recent reported case was in June this year involving seven public university freshmen who were allegedly abused by 10 of their seniors, including being forced to strip and perform lewd acts on each other at the university’s hostel.

Counselling psychologist Dr Gerard Louis said ragging is merely a word used as a license to bully and cause hurt to others.

“Ragging has been happening for decades in sorority houses in the United States. Somehow, our undergraduates have adopted this tradition.

“It can happen in very subtle ways. The more external and explicit forms are easy to spot but it’s the more implicit kind of bullying that’s difficult to track and can have serious implications.”

With the popularity of social media, the effects of ragging are far greater today than what they were a couple of years ago, Louis said.

“Like any other traumatic experience, ragging can impact a person for many, many years later, depending on the extent of it. But ragging is more traumatic today with the advent of social media.

“As Asians, we are very conservative and are taught from young to protect our modesty. In our culture, going around half-naked can have a major impact on one’s life.

“Can you imagine people uploading embarrassing pictures and videos of you for the whole world to see? Imagine thousands with access to images of you running around naked. The embarrassment doesn’t stop at just one person, it extends to parents, siblings and relatives.”

Integrated Psychology Network director and psychologist Valerie Jaques concurred.

“Ragging which is made public through social media can be extremely damaging to an individual’s personality development, and with maladaptive strategies, the individual is highly likely to experience mental illness, either at that point in time or at a later stage when he or she can’t live with the shame. They may turn their attack inwards and be self-harming, or turn the attack outwards and harm others.

by Y AUDREY VIJAINDREN.

Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/node/37972

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