Bullying is repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. An imbalance of power comes about when one or more individuals belonging to a majority group due to their gender, race, faith or other characteristic use the power that this offers to pick on members of a minority group. It can also occur due to an imbalance in strength, age or a number of other attributes which one person or group choses to use to dominate others. It can happen face to face or online, and can be physical, verbal or psychological. Bullying comes in many different forms:
- Physical – pushing, poking, kicking, hitting, biting, pinching etc.
- Verbal – name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, belittling.
- Emotional – isolating others, tormenting, hiding books, threatening gestures, ridicule, humiliation, intimidating, excluding, manipulation and coercion.
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact, inappropriate touching, abusive comments, homophobic abuse, exposure to inappropriate films etc.
- Online /cyber – posting on social media, sharing photos, sending nasty text messages, social exclusion.
- Indirect – Can include the exploitation of individuals.
No bullying is OK.
The effects of bullying can last into adulthood and can increase the risk of suffering poor health such as depression, heart disease and diabetes. Everyone deserves the right to feel safe, secure and valued, and creating a safe environment and dealing with bullying is our shared responsibility.
All bullying, whatever the motivation or method is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. It can affect anyone and we are all potential targets – whether we are adult, child or the bullying is at school, in the community, at work, on line or at home.
Ideally, bullying would be prevented before it happens by creating an environment where bullying in any form is seen as unacceptable. However, bullying is all around us so having methods in place to both recognize and deal with bullying as quickly as possible is really important.
Think about some ways that you could help prevent bullying in your school or workplace. Maybe you could set up a buddy system at school to prevent individuals feeling vulnerable or maybe you could have an anonymous reporting system that makes it possible to call out bullying behaviors without feeling like you are putting yourself at risk. You could also try thinking about ways that you have been treated in the past that made you feel upset or down and make sure that you don’t treat other people this way. Share your experiences with others and together you can start to understand how it feels to be bullied and make sure you know how to protect yourself as much as possible.
1 – Be Confident.
Bullies lose their power if you don’t react. Try not to show it if you are feeling upset.
2 – Stay Connected.
Bullies operate by making their victims feel alone and powerless. Reclaim your power by maintaining connections with faithful friends and supportive adults.
3 – Act quickly and consistently.
The longer a bully has power over a victim, the stronger the hold becomes. Bullying often begins in a relatively mild form—name calling, teasing, or minor physical aggression. After the bully has tested the waters and confirmed that a victim is not going to tell an adult and stand up for his rights, the aggression worsens. That’s why it’s important to act fast before the bullying escalates.
Try it out!
What will you do to prevent bullying in your community? Write down three things you can do to make sure people feel safe and loved every day. After you’ve written it down, share it with a friend or family member so they know to hold you accountable.
Share your three things you will do to prevent bullying with iamtheCODE. Tag us on social media using #wellbeing.