Bullying is very common.
Research studies from across the world have found that almost
half of children say that they have bullied others at some
time. Most children who are involved in bullying would not
be if they fully understood the effect of their actions.
Children accused of
bullying may need just as much help as those being bullied.
Their behaviour may be connected to personal or social problems;
they may be being manipulated by other children; individuals
may be playing a small part in group bullying and not understand
the harm being done to a victim. And, of course, children
may be falsely or mistakenly accused.
do people bully?
Experts say there are two reasons why people bully others.
One is because they enjoy the feeling of power it gives them.
The second is because members of a group can feel closer to
each other by picking on an 'outsider'.
Children have their
- Some say they are
forced into doing it by peer pressure.
- Many say it's normal
- everybody does it.
- Some say that they
are just behaving the way that adults behave.
- Some say that it's
fun to bully.
- Nearly all children
who bully say that their victims deserve it.
and the last one in particular, provide a clue as to what
it is that allows normal, happy, loving sons and daughters
to behave in ways that other parents see as being cruel and
inexcusable. Bullying children don't usually see their behaviour
as being particularly wrong and, anyway, it is justified by
something the victim is or does:
"They always smell funny"
"He's just so gay, you know".
Most importantly, when
a group bullies an individual there may be little sense of
guilt because of the shared responsibility - even if the effect
on the victim is devastating.
do people bully?
Bullying is not one thing but many. It may be carried out
by a group or an individual. It may involve hitting, kicking,
threats, name-calling, or less obvious forms such as "sending
to Coventry". New types of bullying - such as sending
abusive text messages - occasionally appear. Bullying is similar
to harassment and other forms of abuse such as racism, sexism
and the abuse of children by adults. It may involve criminal
acts. The person or people doing the bullying may be the same
age or older or younger than their victim. Both sexes bully
and are bullied.