I learned to handle bullies and put a complete stop to their threats and violence when I was only 9 years old. I was a skinny little kid, raised by grandparents. A sadistic bully & his two goons began accosting me on my way to school, demanding my lunch money. Two of them would hold me down, while the main bully cleaned out my pockets. Then, they'd take my books and pens & toss them around the street. I'd pick my stuff up and head to school - with no lunch money. They'd warned me if I told a teacher, I'd be killed (those were their exact threats).
This went on for 3 weeks. All the time I tried going a different way to school, or getting rides to school, or reasoning with the bully. Nothing worked. He knew my grandparents had money and he wanted it. I ran low on money and refused to pay one day. I got the holy shit kicked out of me, and literally limped home. My grandfather saw me coming in - and helped wash the blood off of me. Nothing broken, just bruises and cuts.
My grandfather was upset and wanted to know how this happened so I had to tell him what was happening, and explain why I'd been afraid to tell anyone. It was now Easter break and a trainer was hired & we worked every day for a week. A punching bag was hung in our garage. I was trained to defend myself - to throw and block a punch. I developed a good left hook. I was told exactly what to do for my first day back at school. I was so sure it wouldn't work, but had no better ideas for how to put a stop to the bully's b.s. So - I walked to school, and out from behind his hiding place came the bully & his two idiots. Just as I was told, I threw my books down, and hit the main bully right between the eyes as hard as I could. He went down. I couldn't believe it! I'd bloodied him. I'll never forget the look on his face. He suddenly had a whole new respect for me (mixed with hatred, I guess!) He never bothered me again. What I learned is, we each have to stand up for ourselves and sometimes go out on a limb - take a huge risk and learn to defend ourselves. If we don't respect ourselves, we can't expect anyone else to do so. I wish I could help every little kid turn his situation around. The feeling of relief when you put a stop to being bullied is like nothing else!