"You don't have to trample on other people's dreams to show that you are strong"

A young girl recalls her experience of violence in school

Girls closing her face
20 July 2020

About the author 

Rija*, 19, is from Mitrovica, Kosovo**. 


Have you ever wondered what human rights are? And how endangered they are actually? Sometimes, we, don't understand who most at risk is. This is the most honest answer we can give as human beings.

Every child is different and believes in their dream. You don't have to trample on other people's dreams to show that you are strong. What will make you stronger is to help someone weaker than you. Student V. D. went to primary school a long time ago. A very long time ago. She is now finishing her fourth year and is very satisfied and successful. That girl wanted to have a normal life and she had it thanks to her family who definitely supported her in everything. She knows her goal. She wants to educate herself in the best possible way, to show others that they are wrong. She wants to show and prove that sometimes they unknowingly commit violence or discrimination. It was mostly peer violence.

What really happened? Maybe for someone it doesn’t seem to be violence at all. Sometimes people do not see their mistakes and the way they harm others. One day everything was fine. There was a person in that girl's class who often mistreated her. It was a male person. By the way, let me mention that he was her neighbor, next door.

V.D. used to keep quiet in front of her parents about what was happening. Until one terrifying thing happened. The thing is that a friend left a dirty mark with a sneaker on her back, over a white-pink tracksuit. She tried to hide all that from her parents. Maybe she was also to blame for not reporting everything on time. She could accept everything but one thing. Once she went with her father to buy a phone, she met the boy's mother. And what do you think she said? She said her son was just kidding. It was obvious that the mother of that child was not aware of what she was saying. It is normal for her to defend her child. She cannot admit her own mistake.I even remember that our teacher once defended him. It was bulling. However, no one could stop her to believe in her dreams. When she started high school in 2016, she joined a non-governmental organization where she made a lot of friends. She had no prejudice at all.


She gained self-confidence, learned many things and got rid of fear. Because she found friends for life.

They tried to bring her down countless times, but they didn't. You all wonder now, how? Her greatest wish is to be educated in the right way, not to make mistakes like other people. She is different from the others. That is something that makes her stand out.

She is special because she is a noble, cheerful person, she does not swear, drink, or listen to the type of music that her generation listens to today. She is more of a pop-rock type. When she said she was going to take a media literacy workshop, they teased her in a bad way, and even when she told them she wanted to enroll at two colleges, she remembered a sentence from a girl who said: "You can't do even this one, let alone two!" Whether she meant it as a joke or something else, she doesn't know. But it motivated her to continue to believe in her dream. She believes that she will succeed. She will prove to them that she can succeed and she will. She fell a thousand times but got up a thousand times, too. Once in high school, they asked her what that person was doing to her, she said she didn't know the person.

This story has a strong message, according to me. Do not let them trample on you or break you. Everyone will take an easier way. You take a harder one. Yes, that path is thorny, but also a proof that you are the best and that you will succeed. Be authentic. Be yourself, don't be someone else, feel comfortable in your skin.  She erased a lot of things from that period.

When someone says something bad to you and thinks badly of you, you tell them - I think the opposite of you, when it comes to you.  That will show who is human. A human is not only made of words but also of the deeds they do. V.D. is a brave girl.

When she told me her story, I felt sad. I think that every child has equal rights to everything. But the world is different, unpredictable.  She also told me that she is often gullible in company, and that she always believes everything that is said.

Today, she is surrounded by a small number of people she trusts, mostly people she has met at various workshops and with whom she is in contact. She rarely goes out. She doesn't like clubs, she rarely goes out with someone for a drink. She prefers to read, write, get informed about various interesting things.

Everything she experienced and lived through led her to understand who she doesn't want to be and what she really wants to be. To be different means to be special.


*The name of the author changed to protect her identity due to sensitivity of content.

**All references to Kosovo should be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).