“Roughly 1 in 4 students have reported being bullied from elementary to high school,” says the Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study. The definition of bullying and harassment is not firmly agreed upon, which makes it harder to treat the problem, but bullying is definitely a widespread problem in and outside of schools. Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm or being cruel to another, either physically, emotionally, or socially. In the vast majority of child bullying situations, peers are present 87% of the time and most often do not intervene. Both males and females can be bullies, where girls are more indirect than boys.
Bullying can also occur outside of school, over the internet. “64% of females from years 6 to 12 reported being cyber-bullied.” Although much online social contact is friendly, there is definite evidence that online bullying can cause just as much distress as it would face to face.
Bullying can even carry on into adulthood, from coworkers or bosses. These bullies try to get power over others, and assert themselves as the superiors. Adult bullying frequently may involve some element of sexual harassment as well. Other times, coworkers may sabotage one’s work to keep them from being noticed or promoted, or some coworkers may go as far as trying to get someone fired or threaten someone with blackmail if they don’t “stop making me look bad.” Other, less obvious adult bullies will verbally harass people, which can cause depression, or a fear of going to work. Often times other coworkers will join in on the side of the bully in order to avoid becoming a target themselves.
Signs of bullying (both child and adult) include: being ignored or excluded from your peers, physical/verbal abuse such as having peers spread lies about you, and others refusing to help you when you need it.
Bullying can have many negative effects on children, teens, and adults. It is important that you stand your ground in protecting yourself or those close to you, and reach out for help if a situation ever gets out of control. Bullying is a serious problem that may sometimes require intervention, rather than waiting for it to go away all on its own. Many people understand what bullying is like, and help can always be found if you are first willing to admit that there is a problem.