What should I do if I am being bullied?
Being bullied can be embarrassing, scary and very hurtful, but you should know that you don't have to put up with being bullied. It is NOT a normal part of growing up. Bullying is wrong. Bullying is something some people learn, that means it is something we can change and there are things we can do to deal with bullying. Here are some things we all can do to stop bullying:
Some information provided by www.bullying.org
A culture of silence often surrounds bullying. Many children who are bullied never tell anyone.
Most bullying is not reported because children . . .
Just because you don’t see it, and others don’t talk about it, doesn’t mean bullying isn’t happening. Even when children fail to report bullying, they often show warning signs.
What are some warning signs of bullying?
Some students may withdraw, while others may get angry and seek revenge. Don’t assume the problem will go away on its own: talk about what is bothering you or another student. If you or another student are being bullied:
Cyber-bullying is a growing form of bullying that is especially hard to see. Cyberbullying involves sending or posting hurtful, embarrassing, or threatening text or images using the Internet, cell phones, or other digital communication devices. Using these technologies, cyberbullies can reach a wide group of people very quickly. Their goal: to damage their victim’s reputation and friendships.
Cyber-bullying can involve:
Young people cyberbully for many reasons. Some do it to deal with their anger, seek revenge, or make themselves appear better than their peers. Others do it for entertainment or for the pleasure of tormenting others. Still others do it simply because they can. By remaining anonymous, and avoiding face-to-face contact, cyberbullies may not realize the consequences of their actions. As a result, they are more likely to say and do things they might hesitate to say or do in person. And young people are often hesitant to report cyberbullying because they are afraid that doing so will lead to restrictions on their own Internet or cell phone use or they believe nothing can be done to stop it.
Some things YOU can do to help prevent cyber-bullying and to help you from being a cyber-bully:
Bullying is about the abuse of power. Children who bully abuse their power to hurt others, deliberately and repeatedly. They are often hot-tempered, inflexible, overly confident, and don’t like to follow rules. They often lack empathy and may even enjoy inflicting pain on others. They often desire to dominate and control others, perceive hostile intent where none exists, overreact aggressively to ambiguous situations, and hold beliefs that support violence.
Sometimes children bully in groups. Children may join in because they look up to the bully and want to impress him or her, or because they are afraid and do not want to be attacked themselves.
Examining the Effects on the Bully
As they mature into adulthood, children who have bullied others often show higher rates of:
Victims of bullying include girls and boys of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. But some children are more likely than others to be victimized because they appear small, weak, insecure, sensitive, or “different” from their peers.
Some children can reduce their risk of being bullied by dressing or acting in ways that make it easier for them to “fit in.” Yet children should not be expected to conform to avoid the threat of bullying. Every child’s individuality should be appreciated for the value it brings to the group, rather than suppressed to reduce the risk of victimization. Furthermore, not all children are able to alter personal characteristics that may place them at increased risk.
Potential victims can reduce their risk of being bullied by learning how to:
Examining the Effects on the Victim
Bullying situations usually involve more than the bully and the victim. They also involve bystanders—those who watch bullying happen or hear about it.
An important new strategy for bullying prevention focuses on the powerful role of the bystander. Depending on how bystanders respond, they can either contribute to the problem or the solution. Bystanders rarely play a completely neutral role, although they may think they do.
Some bystanders . . . instigate the bullying by prodding the bully to begin.
Other bystanders . . . encourage the bullying by laughing, cheering, or making comments that further stimulate the bully.
And other bystanders . . . join in the bullying once it has begun.
Most bystanders . . . passively accept bullying by watching and doing nothing. Often without realizing it, these bystanders also contribute to the problem. Passive bystanders provide the audience a bully craves and the silent acceptance that allows bullies to continue their hurtful behavior.
Some bystanders . . . directly intervene, by discouraging the bully, defending the victim, or redirecting the situation away from bullying.
Other bystanders . . . get help, by rallying support from peers to stand up against bullying or by reporting the bullying to adults.
Examining the Effects on The Bystander
Bystanders who don’t intervene or don’t report the bullying often suffer negative consequences themselves. They may experience:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you are a BULLY . . .
If you are a VICTIM . . .
If you are a BYSTANDER . . .
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