We teach our children when they are very young to stand up to bullies; that if they stand up to them, most bullies will back down because they are cowards and prefer easy targets.  We also teach our children that we must always help someone that is being bullied and not just turn the other way.  Just recently, I have come to find out that some bullies never grow up and the internet is the perfect place to bully someone without needing the courage to even face your victims.

I wrote an article called “Anti Vaxxer” the new dirty word?” anonymously because I was worried about the backlash that I, and especially my family, may get from these internet bullies, and they did not disappoint…

“There is a reason you are all ridiculed and condemned – you threaten the lives of the community around you. Your ignorant, uneducated decision to eschew vaccines in favour of insanely stupid alternative therapies only deserves contempt.”

“If you refuse a whooping cough vaccine to an infant, and they then catch pertussis, there is a chance that they can die. Child killer indeed.”

” this is sheer nonsense, and only aids in adding to the froth that boils from the mouths of the anti vaccine crowd”

“Anti vaxers seem to get delight from the deaths of infants from VPDs”

“You are all to blame for this, not the government, not the media and certainly not those that oppose your very existence.”

“…you are a group of misinformed, tin foil hat wearing, slobbering  conspiracy theorists.”

“You are a bunch of fringe dwelling conspiracy theorists that have no social conscience”

There is more but it is not really worth repeating any more of this individual’s ranting of hatred and hostility. I think it is plainly obvious that his ranting only helped prove my point.

But what I now feel compelled to do is what I have taught my children to do: step up and face my bullies.

My name is Tasha David and I am the widowed mother of 8 children, 6 of whom were vaccinated and as a result, have neurodevelopmental and autoimmune disorders.  They have suffered from eczema, asthma, psoriasis, chronic ear infections, gastrointestinal disorders (ie chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation and urinary tract infections), food allergies and intolerances, and chemical sensitivities while my 2 youngest unvaccinated children have NONE of their sibling’s disorders.

My two youngest children are the picture of health. None of them have had antibiotics, and only one of them has needed to go to the doctor and that was just to check out the wax build up in his ears.  Watching them thrive is bittersweet. I look at the joy, excitement and wonder that they have for the world and think this is what my other children would have experienced if I had let them grow and develop naturally.

I am also one of the many members who make up the Australian Vaccination Network who have vaccine injured children and who the bullies out there want to silence.  They feel that we have no right to voice our concerns; that our personal experiences are meaningless, and that we shouldn’t even exist!

Who are they to say who has the right to be heard, let alone exist?

Why do they believe that only the information that they deem pertinent should be allowed in the public arena?

Do they not feel that people are capable of making up their own mind about what is right for their own families?

Just as two people can look at the same picture but have two different interpretations, it does not mean that one is wrong and one is right, it is just that they see things differently.

What may be right for your child may not be right for mine, so it is my job as a parent to make that choice for my child, I do not know your child so I have no right to even try to tell you what to do with yours. We all want healthy children, it’s just that we see different ways of achieving this.

What is so hard to understand about this?

I believe with all my heart that people should have the right to choose to vaccinate or not vaccinate, but the choice should always be theirs to make. When you fight to silence another person’s point of view because it contradicts your own then it shows that you do not have faith in your own convictions.

I write this today not for the bullies, but for the parents like me, who are feeling downtrodden, disheartened and persecuted. We cannot let the bullies win.  If we stop asking questions, sharing our personal experiences and supporting each other for fear of ridicule then they have already won.

We must stand up and support each other and ignore the insults and slights from those who would have us cower in fear, do as we have taught our children to do, stand up to the bullies together and take our power back.

We are not fighting for people to stop vaccinating, we are fighting for people’s right to hear all the information available and make their own choices.

I take heart from this quote from Mahatma Gandhi…

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won.  There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.  Think of it—always.”

Horrible atrocities have occurred in our history when people are allowed to oppress others, and we lose our humanity when we allow this to happen.

This should be no person’s goal for another.

Tasha David

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