Home > Melting the iceberg of fear: a collective response.

Jennings, Philip (2013) Melting the iceberg of fear: a collective response. Dublin: Safer Blanchardstown.

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Intimidation is a serious, insidious and coercive behaviour used by individual/s on others to force them to do something against their will. This behaviour affects victims, members of their family, their friends and the wider community in a variety of negative ways. We all have some idea of intimidation even without any direct personal experience. But we need to understand exactly what intimidation is, who intimidates, where it occurs, how it evolves and when a person is likely to be a victim if we are to tackle this issue in any significant way.

One way of understanding what intimidation is and the various effects intimidation has on a person, is to break the word down into its component parts i.e. to intimidate is to browbeat, bulldoze, cow, bully and bludgeon. These words all mean to frighten into submission, compliance, or agreement but each act has its own particular affect on an individual:

To intimidate implies the presence of a fear-inducing force or threat of force on a person, family or property.
• Browbeat suggests the persistent use of highhanded, disdainful, or domineering tactics.
• Bulldoze is to remove all spirit of opposition and develop feelings of complete helplessness and isolation.
• To Cow a person is to instil an abject state of timidity, demoralisation and of living in fear as a result of physical/mental abuse, threat or harassment.
• Bullies intimidate through loud, overbearing, undermining insidious or threatening behaviours.
• Bludgeon is the use of violent and forceful methods to insure compliance of another person against their will

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