Bullying Facts

Bullying facts show that it is a serious problem among teens and children. This behavior includes physical, verbal, cyber bullying, shunning and other forms of harassment.

A bully is someone who directs physical, verbal, or psychological aggression or harassment toward others, with the goal of gaining power over them.

A victim is someone who is repeatedly exposed to aggression from peers in the form of physical attacks, verbal assaults, or psychological abuse. Victims are more likely to be boys and to be physically weaker than peers. They generally do not have good friends. They may have poor social skills and academic problems in school.

 The aggression can happen anywhere. A number of children ( see statistics) and teens are regular victims. This can lead to serious emotional scarring and problems with the victim's self-esteem. Correcting these behaviors before they start or get out of hand is essential.

Types of bullying:

Verbal usually involves name calling and or teasing

Social involves spreading rumors, shunning and breaking up friendships.

Physical involves hitting, punching, shoving and other acts resulting in physical harm.

Cyber bullying involves using the internet, texting, email and other digital technologies to harm others. 

Characteristics of this type of aggression. There is an –

Imbalance of power. Typically those who engage in bully-like behaviors use their strength, popularity or power to harm, control or manipulate others. They will usually target those who are weaker in size or may have a difficult time defending themselves.

Intent to cause harm. A bully is a person who does not do things by accident. The bully intends to physically or emotionally injure a person or group of persons. 

Repetition. Typically incidents of bullying are not a one-time thing. Bullies target the same person or group over and over again. 

The Facts 

  •  A bullied child is often powerless to stop the bullying without outside help. Finding the help of a trusted adult is one of the best ways for a child to put a stop to the bullying.
  • Children who are bullied are often afraid to speak out, even to parents and teachers. They fear that the bullying will get worse if they tell, and they are ashamed of their status as victims.
  • Bullying is an everyday occurrence for many children.
  • Bullying is the assertion of power through aggression. Its forms change with age. School playground bullying can progress to sexual harassment, gang attacks, date violence, assault, marital violence, child abuse, workplace harassment and elder abuse.
  • These actions are not rites of passage. Bullying is a serious act that has immediate and long-term consequences for a child who is being bullied.
  • Victims often report low self-esteem, likely because of repeated exposure to victimization. Both boys and girls who are victimized report symptoms of depression such as sadness and a loss of interest in activities.
  • Bullying can be effectively reduced when victimized children tell an adult, and persist in telling until their request for help is heard.
  • Adults can support children who are being bullied by listening and reassuring them that speaking out is the right thing to do.

For more information on bullying, have a look at —

Bullying
What is bullying?
Bullying Statistics
The Bully
Cyberbullying
School Bullying
Effects of Bullying
Stop Bullies 
 

Bullying Factors

1.  The family: children who observe parents, sisters and brothers with bullying behavior or family members who are themselves victims are likely to develop bullying behaviors.

The frequency and severity of bullying depends on the amount of adult supervision the children have. Kids need consequences for their behavior. Supportive and observant adults who give penalties for bullying behavior will gradually halt the bullying.

When children get negative messages and physical punishment at home, they develop negative self concepts and expectations. This treatment at home can lead them to attack before they are attacked. Bullying others gives the perpetrator a sense of power and importance.

2.  The school: bullying is reinforced by school personnel who sometimes ignore bullying. Kids who receive negative feedback and negative attention are much worse off than those in a positive school climate that fosters respect and sets high standards for behavior between pupils and students.

3.  The peer group:  children may mimic bullying behavior in a school or neighborhood peer group that supports or encourages this behavior. Kids want desperately to belong. Some may bully peers in an effort to fit in.  

Parents May See These Signs of Victimization in Their Children if They --

  • Come home with unexplained injuries or with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings.
  • Have a change in eating habits.
  • Make excuses not to go to school.
  • Have fewer friends.
  • Feel helpless.
  • Talk about suicide.
  • Act out of character.
  • Avoid certain places or playing outside alone.
  • Feel like they are not good enough.
  • Have trouble sleeping.
  • Blame themselves for their problems. 

Victims of Bullying Often

  • signal to others that they are insecure, mostly passive and that they will not retaliate if they are attacked. Bullies often target children who complain, appear physically or emotionally weak and seek attention from peers. 
  • have overprotective parents. As a result, the children fail to develop their own coping skills. 
  • want approval and even after being rejected continue to make ineffective attempts to interact with the victimizer.

Signs that That a Child Be Might Be Bullying Others. If S/he

  • Becomes frequently violent.
  • Has trouble controlling anger.
  • Is manipulative and controlling of others and situations.
  • Is quick to blame others.
  • Does not accept responsibility for their actions.
  • Needs to win or be the best at everything.

Parents Who Suspect That Their Child is Bullying Must --

  • Intervene and get help if necessary. Engage, listen, observe and build appropriate social skills. Give positive feedback for appropriate social behaviors. Be a role model for your kids.
  • Use alternatives to physical punishment such as the removal of privileges for bullying behavior.
  • Contact the school’s psychologist, counselor or social worker for support. Become involved in school programs to counteract bullying. 
  • Give positive feedback to your child for appropriate social behaviors.
  • Be a role model for your kids.
  • Listen to them and observe them.
  • Be engaged and spend quality time with them.
  • Use alternatives to physical punishment such as the removal of privileges for bullying behavior.  

 For help with child self esteem go to Child Self Esteem and Building Child Self Esteem .



Victims of Bullying Often --

  • signal to others that they are insecure, mostly passive and that they will not retaliate if they are attacked. Bullies often target children who complain, appear physically or emotionally weak and seek attention from peers. 
  • have overprotective parents. As a result, the children fail to develop their own coping skills. 
  • want approval and even after being rejected continue to make ineffective attempts to interact with the victimizer.

Bullying and Violence

  • Bullies have a lack of respect for others’ basic human rights. They are more likely to resort to violence to solve problems. 
  • Both bullies and victims show higher rates of fighting than their peers.
  • School shootings show how victims’ frustration with bullying can turn into vengeful violence.

Effective School Prevention Programs Include --

  • Early intervention, social skills training and counseling are necessary for students showing bullying and victim behaviors.
  •  School psychologists and other mental health personnel need training to provide this support. Parents may need to lobby for increased specialists in the school system. 
  • Parents must reinforce their children’s positive behavior patterns and model appropriate interpersonal interactions. School psychologists, social workers and counselors can show parents how to support children who are both victims and perpetrators.
  • Teachers need training to spot and respond to bullying and victimization. They can model positive feedback and support positive social interactions.
  • Society needs to stop defending bullying behavior as part of growing up. Stopping bullying will result in a healthier society.
  • Schools with easily understood rules of conduct, smaller class sizes and fair discipline practices have less violence. A positive school climate will reduce bullying and victimization.

It takes a village to raise a child.


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