This article is full of bullying facts, help and resources for those with concerns and seeking guidance on addressing the issue of bullying. Verbal bullying, physical bullying, Social and Cyber-bullying, racial and sexual harassment are topics most of us can relate with in one form or another.
Verbal and physical bullying, laughing at and treating others in a demeaning, shameful manner, being hateful and hurtful does leave its’ mark on an individual. Children and teens alike are exposed to not only physical abuse and verbal expressions, but also deal with cyber-bullying. It’s important that the person being bullied is made aware that there are people who care and they are NOT alone.
Included in this article is information on:
- Questions and Answers pertaining to bullying
- Facts and statistics on bullying
- What you can do if bullied or you want to help
- General information on bullying
- Hot lines and Resource links provided
There is no immediate resolution to bullying, but doing nothing is not the answer. It’s important to provide information and resources for individuals experiencing bullying as well as to those that would like to reach out and help. As a parent or someone concerned, it’s important to be a power of example.
Children are susceptible and watch how people act or react in their lives. When teens look towards their parents, family members or peers for answers, it’s important they have support and can feel safe to talk.
Different Forms of Bullying
- Verbal bullying — This can include name calling, teasing, instilling fear and shame
- Social bullying — Starting or spreading lies and false rumors, breaking up friends and intentionally excluding others from activities
- Physical bullying — This form of bullying can involve hitting, punching, shoving, being forced to do things and other acts that can lead to intentional harm to others
- Racial harassment — Occurs when behaviors are associated to skin color, race and cultural background
- Sexual harassment — Involves unwanted behaviors linked to gender or sexual orientation
- Cyber-bullying — The use of digital technology involving the Internet, texting, by email and other technological means to cause harm to others
Does Bullying Cause Harm to Others?
Of course bullying causes harm to others! Bullying is abusive and can cause lasting damage to the victim. Being consistently targeted damages one’s self worth, they may view themselves as undesirable and unworthy. This can lead to depression, isolation, self-hate and yes, ultimately to suicide.
Those who are bullied may be afraid to go to school or to the bathroom alone, play on the playground or ride the school bus. They may also lose interest in school, have trouble concentrating and perform poorly educationally. Being bullied can be upsetting and stressful, and it can affect your life in many different ways, including health, self-esteem, relationships, work and education. The effects can be long-lasting into and throughout adulthood.
What Happens to Kids Exposed to Bullying?
When kids see bullying, they may feel anxious for not knowing what to do, say or how to act. Some may join in or stay silent for fear of consequences from the bully. Over time, students who frequently observe bullying may feel less empathy for the individuals being bullied.
What Are Possible Signs of Someone Being Bullied?
- Comes home with unexplained injuries or with damaged or missing clothing or other items
- Changes in eating habits
- Makes excuses for not going to school
- May have trouble sleeping
- Displays or expresses feelings of helplessness
- Change in character
- Blaming themselves for their problems
- Talks about suicide or feelings of hopelessness
- Feels helpless
- Avoids going to certain places or playing outside alone
- They don’t like themselves and feel they are not good enough
Statistics on Bullying
It’s appalling to see the degree of bullying that exists today. With the introduction of digital technology, cyber-bullying has added another dimension to the already explosive issue. The statistics mentioned are disturbing to me and should be for you, the reader, as well.
- An alarming 56% of students have personally felt some sort of bullying at school. Between grades 4 and 9 in particular, 90% of students are victims of bullying.
- The most common reason mentioned for being harassed is a student’s appearance or body size. Two out of 5 teens feel that they are bullied because of appearance.
- Nine out of 10 LGBT youth have reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year due to their sexual orientation.
- It is reported that 1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4% of the time.
- A victim of bullying is twice as likely to take their own life compared to someone who is not a victim.
- An estimated 40% — 75% of bullying in schools takes place during breaks, such as recess, at lunchtime, in hallways or in the restrooms.
- Every day, 160,000 students skip school because they are afraid they will be bullied.
- An alarming 1 out of 10 students drops out of school because they are bullied.
- The average bullying episode lasts only 37 seconds. Teachers notice or intervene in only one in 25 incidents.
- It is said to think that 57% of students who experience harassment in school never report the incident to the school because they do not believe that teachers or staff can do anything.
Facts on Bullying
The facts on bullying reveal it is a growing problem among teens and children. There are several different types of bullying including cyber-bullying, bullying in schools as well as other forms of harassment. Below are some disturbing facts:
- Girls bully in groups more than boys do.
- Girls tend to bully according to social status, such as popular vs. non-popular.
- Boys tend to bully according to group, such as athlete vs. non-athlete.
- Children who are obese are more likely to be bullied. Also, overweight and obese girls are more likely to be physically bullied.
- Research indicates that children as young as age 5 who continually observes bullying that goes unchecked or ignored by adults are at a greater risk of becoming bullies themselves.
- There is a connection between bullying and being exposed to violence. Unfortunately, by the time an average child enters kindergarten, he will have witnessed 8,000 or more murders on television.
- Researchers note that bullying escalates in the later years of elementary school, peaks in the middle school, and then lessens by high school. They also noted that the 6th grade is the worst year for bullying.
What Can You Do When Being Bullied?
Have you ever experienced being bullied? Have you seen someone being bullied? In either case, the victim or observer can be experiencing feelings of fear, shame, extreme discomfort, possibly mentally shutting down or runs away. These are things that you can feel or act upon if involved in such situations. Some ideas on what you can do if you find yourself being bullied are:
- Look at the kid bullying you and calmly ask them to please stop. You may also try to laugh it off; it could help to lessen the intensity of the situation while calming the bully’s behavior.
- If speaking up doesn’t work for you, then walking away may be the best approach. Not fighting back is nothing to be ashamed of, it takes courage.
- Tell an adult, they may be able to help end the bullying.
- It’s important for you to remember that it’s not your fault. No one deserves to be treated this way. If you’re being bullied, find an adult or someone you trust to talk with.
- Get involved with activities and hang around with other people. Being with a group may help you feel safer.
How Can One Protect Themselves from Cyber-bullying?
Cyber-bullying happens online or through the use of other digital technology such as text messages or emails. There are things you can do to protect yourself.
- Always think about what you post, especially with the potential of postings, pictures and video going viral in an instant. Do not share anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone, you don’t have control as to where your information will end up once sent to your friends or contacts.
- Protect your password and be cautious as to who you share it with. It would be wise to let your parents have your password.
- Think about who sees what you post online. With the use of privacy settings, you can control who views your postings to friends and/or family.
- Keep your parents involved. It’s important they are aware of what you do online and with whom. It’s also important you listen to what they may say about their concerns. Remember, they care about you and want you to be safe.
- Talk to an adult you trust about any messages you get or things you see online that are upsetting or make you feel uncomfortable. If you experience cyber-bullying, report it.
How Can I Stand Up for Others or Get Involved?
When you see bullying, there are safe things you can do and ways to safely stand up for others and get involved. Help by being part of the solution and not the problem; take action.
- Talk to a parent, teacher or another adult you trust. Adults need to know when bad things happen so they can help.
- Be kind to the kids being bullied. Show them you care by trying to include them. Sit with them at lunch or on the bus, talk with them at school, or invite them to do something with you. This will them feel they are not alone.
- Get involved, be a leader through preventing bullying in your community.
- Adults and concerned individuals can help by finding out more about where and when bullying occurs within the schools and your community.
- Write a blog, letter to the editor or your local newspaper, or tweet about bullying.
Not saying anything could make it worse for everyone. The kid who is bullying will think it is OK to keep treating others this way. That is not an option, become involved or talk with someone for help.
HOT LINES — RESOURCES
Focus on Undoing the Damage
Taking steps to repair the loss of identity and self-esteem is an integral part of the process for people to heal from past bullying experiences. It’s the unseen damage within them that needs to be mended. Learning how to feel safe in the world is a start to regaining control of their lives and shed the victim role. Finding safe people and groups can help one to accept the support and move forward… slow and steady.
National Crime and Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council’s mission (NCPC) is the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families and their communities safe from crime. To achieve this, NCPC produces tools that communities can use to learn prevention and strategies, engage community members and coordinate with local agencies.
National Bullying Prevention Center
Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center unites, engages and educates communities nationwide to address bullying through creative, relevant and interactive resources. PACER’s bullying prevention resources are designed to benefit students, including students with disabilities.
Through research-based intervention, GLSEN provides resources and support for schools to implement effective and age-appropriator anti-bullying programs to improve school climate for all students.
National Suicide Hotline/Hopeline
Call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; we are here to help. Support from across the country assists KBHC achieve its mission to prevent suicide and educate people about depressive disorders.
The Trevor Lifeline (U.S. Only)
Call anytime day or night, 24/7. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgive one
another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:32