Bullying is defined as the use of force, coercion or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate someone. It is an imbalance of physical or social power and this behavior is often repeated. About 1 in 3 U.S students say they have been bullied at school. Most happen in middle school. The most common type is verbal and social bullying.
Two types of bullying are direct (targeted at a youth directly) or indirect (spreading rumors). Four types are physical, verbal, relational (efforts to harm reputation or relationship) and damage to property.
- Bullying can happened in any number of places, contexts or locations, including electronic which is cyberbullying.
- Bullying is complex and can affect a youth into adulthood.
- Children at risk of being bullied are perceived as different from their peers (overweight, underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool”).
- Children that are bullied are at risk for anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
- 6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their school.
- In general, the U.S has about an average amount of bullying when compared to other countries according to W.H.O.
The relationship between bullying and suicide is complex. Persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, anxiety and depression, which can contribute to suicidal behavior. The vast majority who are bullied, do not become suicidal. Most young people to die have multiple risk factors. There is no federal anti-bullying law. Although 49 states have anti-bullying legislation, bullying is not illegal.
What you can do:
-Parents: recognize warning signs. Talk to your child about bullying, open communication is key. If you have determined bullying is occurring, learn how you and school or community officials can work together to support your child.
-Educators: Establish a safe and supportive school climate. Respond when it happens.
-Community: Understand what bullying is. Don’t ignore it. Make sure everyone is safe. Get police help or medical attention if; a weapon is involved, there are threats of serious injury, violence or racisms, seriously bodily harm, sexual abuse or robbery.