There are numerous resources such as websites, books, newspapers etc. that offer a wealth of information on bullying. Although each one of us has been verbally or physically abused at one time or another, this is not considered bullying unless it is done by intent to demean.

Bullying can occur in various surroundings: at home, at school, in the workplace, in the neighborhood… and it does not take place only among the youth. It is true that teens tend to behave more aggressively and violently towards each other, but adults can also lack the necessary “brakes” that will prevent them from venting frustration on others. Anyone who looks up information on bullying will find a lot of useful advice on how to develop coping skills and deal with bullies, but also how not to become one.

Physical scars that bullying leaves on a victim usually heal quickly, but it is emotional scars that a person can be left with for a lifetime. It is therefore not uncommon for victims to experience some kind of personality disorder, depression, to become more susceptible to alcohol or drug addiction, or more unpredictable and isolated.

The role of the bystander is crucial when it comes to bullying. A bystander should not be a passive observer of injustice and abuse, but should immediately report the case to an authority figure and ask for help. All statistics that provide information on bullying indicate that unless bullying is dealt with at an early stage (i.e. when it first appears), chances are that it will become the norm within the group, so the victims will keep silent and accept bullying as a normal part of growing up.

 

 

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