There's saying you may have heard: Hurt people hurt people.
In other words, when people are hurting, they in turn feel the need to hurt those around them. Power-trips and narcissism are merely cover-ups for the inner conflict our tormentor wrestles with... so the story goes.
If you've ever been bullied, and who hasn't, you know that terrible sensation of helplessness or the shame of feeling vulnerable. People bully us or try to inflict upon us emotional pain because (supposedly) they are hurting or have low self-esteem, or have an inferiority-complex, or on-and-on. But these are simply symptoms, these aren't the real causes. Honestly, I don't know all of the motivators behind why people perform acts of cruelty, and really, their motivation is immaterial to me.
The reason people hurt us is, because we let them.
"But they are stronger, have power over me, are bigger, hold all the cards, they-they-they-they..." I'm not making light of the real anxiety you might have. If you are an abused spouse, an employee who's boss takes advantage of you, a student who gets roughed up daily, or a member who has been abused by your leadership, I'm simply asking that you turn the focus off of "them" and refocus it on your community.
When I say hurt people hurt us because "we" let them, I mean "we" in the plural. None of us alone can stand up as well as all of us can. There's no stronger force on earth than the community. If we unite together to stand up to those who threaten others, challenge them and then keep an accountability factor well maintained, we can live healthier more loving lives. As the old saying goes: The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing...