What is bullying



Every day, thousands of children are afraid to wake up in the mornings and go to schools, and the main reason for that is not their laziness or the absence of the desire to study. This happens because they are bullied. Bullying is a considerable problem which may involve a range of other utmost severe problems if it is not dealt with. However, not only children and students may be exposed to bullying, but in some cases, adults may also become victims of bullying.

Bullying is defined as repeated aggressive and violent behavior indicated by an individual or a group of individuals toward another individual, and it is characterized by the power imbalance (those who are stronger and have more power bully those who are less powerful). There are many types of bullying which are listed and briefly described below.

Physical bullying is one of the most widespread types of bullying. It occurs when individuals use physical power and strength in order to mock a victim and demonstrate their authority. It is aimed to hurt a persons body or possessions. Among all types of bullying, physical bullying is the easiest one to be detected. Additionally to its negative emotional influence, it may lead to serious physical injuries and health-related problems.

Verbal bullying is the way of bullying where perpetrators use offensive words, statements, and name-calling in order to humiliate a victim. Relentless insults are used in order to belittle, hurt and demean an individual. Perpetrators tend to offend their victims verbally on the basis of the way they look, dress, act, and behave, etc. Most frequently, this type of bullying is ignored and its impact is underestimated. However, it may lead to serious psychological and emotional traumas so that a victim may obtain many complexes and even commit suicide.

Relational aggression (also known as emotional bullying) is more commonly used by females than by males. It is characterized by attacking a victim on emotional level. Emotional bullying often includes spreading rumors, ignoring, refusing to talk to a victim, and excluding him or her from some activities with the aim of hurting a victim emotionally and demonstrate someones own higher social standing.

Cyberbullying is a type of bullying when perpetrators use the Internet and other communicational technologies in order to harass, threaten, embarrass or target a victim. In the last several years, this type of bullying has become very popular. The main ways to bully a victim online include posting provocative images, sending hurtful messages, threatening online, etc. Due to the fact that it is easier to say something online than during a real communication and the risk to be caught is considerably lower, online bullies are more cruel and offensive. Online bullying may last for a long time, and the risk to be attacked at any time is very high. Therefore, online bullying may have very significant consequences.

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Sexual bullying represents a range of actions which are targeted to offend, harm and humiliate an individual in a sexual context. Bullies may use sexual name-calling, leave crude comments about a victims appearance, sexual attractiveness or intimate life, show vulgar gestures, touch intimate sights, propose sex or spread pornographic materials. If appropriate attention to sexual bullying is not paid, it may lead to sexual assault. Sexting is one of the most common methods of sexual bullying. It involves the elements of cyber bullying. For example, when a couple breaks up, one of the partners begins to spread intimate information about his or her former lover, sending intimate photos and inviting others to laugh at this information together.

Prejudicial bulling is based on different prejudices that perpetrators may have towards a victim, for instance concerning race, financial capacity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. This type may be combined with any of the abovementioned types of bullying. Most often, prejudicial bullying is used by a group of individuals against someone who differs from them in some points.

Disability bullying targets people with disabilities (either physical or mental). It may include laughing at some results of these disabilities or insult a person by sarcastic pointing of these disabilities.

Legal bullying is based on threatening or actual using of legal instruments of control or punishment towards a victim. For example, a victim may be bombarded by numerous lawsuits by an aggressor, and a victim may waste much time and resources while protecting him or herself against these lawsuits.

Therefore, taking into account that the problem of bullying is very topical and cases of bullying take place quite frequently, and the variety of bullying types is very wide, it should be stated that the problem of bullying should be properly examined in order to design effective measures of bullying prevention, methods to struggle against bullying, and strategies assisting and adapting those who have already become victims of bullying. The significance of bullying and the severity of its consequences should not be underestimated. Thus, this paper discusses in details the essence of bullying and methods which may assist to cope with this significant problem.

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