Bullying happens when there is an imbalance of power. When someone purposely and repeatedly says, or does hurtful things to someone else. It can occur one on one or in a group(s) of people. There are many different form of bullying:
(using your body or objects to cause harm). Includes hitting, punching, kicking, spitting or breaking someone else’s belongings.
(using words to hurt someone). Includes name calling, put downs, threats and teasing.
(using your friends and relationships to hurt someone). Includes spreading rumours, gossiping, excluding others from a group or making others look foolish or unintelligent. This form is most common among girls.
Involves the use of communication technologies (social media, texting, internet) to intimidate or harass others.
Definition provided by: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca
It has been an issue forever. But why does it seem like the issue is getting worse? Children and teens are starting to bully much earlier in life. It is having huge effects on the young population. Here are some alarming statistics about the issue from: http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/
- Canada is the 9th highest rate of bullying in 13 year olds
- At least 1 in 3 teen students in Canada have reported bullying.
- 47% of Canadian parents report having a child that has been a victim of bullying
- Bullying increases the risk of suicidal ideas in youth
- Girls are more likely to experience online bullying than boys
When people are bullied, the effects can last a lifetime. It can cause a lot of issues for children into adult life. The effects can happen to both the individual or group that is bullying. As well as, the individual or group being bullied. Innocent bystanders are also at risk.
At any age this can cause many negative effects both mentally and physically such as:
- Illness (kids may get stomachaches, headaches or begin faking sick)
- Desire to skip school/academic decline
- Physical abuse (punching, hitting, kicking etc.)
- Higher risk of suicidal ideation/self-harm
- Fear of not being good enough
- Low self-esteem
- Higher chance of bullying others later on in life
In addition, it can also effect the individuals preforming the bullying in a negative way as well. The kids/teens who are the bully’s may have issues at home or school that they are not dealing with properly. Therefore, it can be a way for them to feel in control. Some negative effects of are:
- Increased risk of substance abuse
- Academic decline (suspension, behaviour issues etc.)
- Issues maintaining relationships
- Abuse in later life
- Increased risk of criminal behaviour
- Low self-esteem
For kids/teens that are seeing it occur, it can be hard to know if they should tell someone or not. They are typically in fear of feeling like a “tattletale.” This tends to be seen a lot in groups. This can cause:
- Desire to skip school (avoidance)
- Fear of being bullied