Bullying can be defined as the use of strength or influence to intimidate and typically to force the victim to do what the bully wants. Bullies often use force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate their peers. This behaviour is often repeated and habitual. Unfortunately, there are many people who still believe that bullying is a normal part of childhood and that it does not pose a serious threat. This could not be further from the truth as bullying can cause a number of social, physical and mental health issues that are avoidable.
There are four main forms of bullying: Physical, Verbal, Social and Electronic. Physical bullying often takes the form of hitting, shoving, stealing or the damaging of property. Verbal bullying can be name calling, making sexist, racist or homophobic slurs or general mocking. Social bullying is most often the intentional exclusion of others from a group or the spreading or rumours and gossip. Finally, electronic, or cyber, bullying is the use of email, social media, websites and text messaging to spread rumours or make hurtful comments about others. Each of these forms of bullying can have devastating effects for everyone involved and we all need to work together to Bully No More.
Scoutlete’s Bully No More campaign starts with you, and by following these steps you can make a difference.
- Bullies are often looking for an audience, or approval. Stand up for people who are being bullied and let bullies know that you do not think that being mean is cool.
- Make a personal pledge that you will stand up against bullying. Share your anti-bullying pledge with friends and family in person and on social media.
- Try to learn more about where bullying happens in your school or neighbourhood. Talk about what might help and see if you can start a anti-bullying club or prevention program.
- Talk to your parents, teachers or principal.Talking to people is a huge step. Let adults know that you care about this topic and get them involved. You might be surprised how much support you will find.
- Ask your school to host an assembly on bullying. If there are any doubts, organize an anonymous survey to learn and shed some light on how many kids are being bullied.
- Try and help spread the word; post tweets or status updates, write a blog or an article for your school newspaper.
Remember, despite the fact that some people think bullying is just a part of growing up and a way for people to learn to stick up for themselves, it can have longterm physical and psychological effects. It is important for bullies to know early on that bullying is not ok. Bullies who find that they can get away with aggression and violence often continue these behaviours into adulthood and are at a much higher risk of being involved in sexual harassment and other criminal behaviours.
If you are being bullied, know that you are not alone. If you are the one bullying, there are resources and support to help you stop. Parents, if you are worried that your child is being bullied or bullying, there are warning signs to look out for as well as things you can do to help your child.
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