Jane has many friends, but they all pick on her hand-me-down clothes. In the naval academy, all new recruits are forced to streak around campus. Wendy always wears sweatpants so male coworkers will stop whistling and making comments on her legs. Kerry avoids his computer and cell phone because of the threats he receives daily in emails and text messages. Dillon gets hit regularly for having special needs. Minor to major, these are all forms of bullying. Once thought of as a, “rite of passage” bullying is now seen as an international problem, spanning all stages of life from childhood to adulthood, in school, on the street, in the workplace, even on the Internet.
Now schools, businesses and state and federal government have taken action and put energy into developing new prevention techniques, education programs and legislation. The following is a collection of statistics, definitions, quick facts and resources for identification, information on and treatment of problems associated with bullying.
Statistics on Bullying
- Experts estimate 1 in 5 children in an average classroom experience some form of bullying (Olweus Bullying Prevention Program).
- An estimated 30% of teenagers in the United States are involved in bullying either as a victim or a bully (Family First Aid).
- At least 10% of children in the United States are bullied on a regular basis (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology).
- In the United States, in one day up to 160,000 children may skip school to avoid bullies (Stop Bullying Now).
- The effects of bullying are seen in the bully as well as the victim. Of middle school boys who bullied, 60% received criminal convictions by age 24 (Stop Bullying Now).
Definitions and Types of Bullying
- Bullying: The repeated exposure of an individual to negative attention by one or more other individuals. Bullying is often physical, but victims can also experience verbal or social bullying (Olweus Bullying Prevention Program).
- Physical bullying: Physical attacks against an individual. This may be violence such as hitting, kicking, etc, or it may be violence of a sexual nature, such as unwanted touching, kissing, removal of clothing or intercourse (Pathways Courses).
- Verbal bullying: Any negative verbal attention placed on an individual. This includes taunts, insults, threats and insulting jokes or comments made to an individual.
- Social/Relational bullying: Actions that negatively impact an individual’s relationships or social life. This may involve stalking, spreading of rumors, withholding friendships, encouraging ostracism of an individual, manipulation of relationships or ignoring another individual
- Harassment: Though typically a term used when referring to bullying between adults in different settings, it includes similar behaviors to those seen among adolescents.
- Peer pressure: Positive or negative pressure experienced from one’s peers to perform a certain action or behave a certain way. Positive peer pressure includes encouragement by friends or coworkers to work harder toward personal goals or trying fun and health new activities. Negative peer pressure would be encouragement from peers to engage in illegal or risky activities, such as stealing or doing drugs. It can also be any pressure from peers to do something (risky or illegal or not) that the individual is uncomfortable with (KidsHealth).
- Child bullying: Bullying between children, this can occur at or near school, or on the street.
- Cyberbullying: A relatively new form of bullying, cyberbullying involves the use of cell phones and computers to verbally harass a victim. This does not include adults or teenagers luring younger children to meet offline. That is sexual exploitation (Stop Cyberbullying).
- Workplace bullying: Bullying seen in the workplace can be any form of bullying previously listed. However, considering that a physically aggressive bully is relatively easy to detect, and the immediate consequences of obvious physical aggression, workplace bullying tends to involve subtler methods. Unlike cyber- or child bullying, workplace bullying can negatively affect an individual’s career and economic health, as well as their emotional, physical and social well-being (The Work Trauma Foundation).
- Bully-cide: When victims of bullying who endure extreme and constant abuse choose to commit suicide to escape their tormentors. Sometimes this behavior is encouraged by their bully or bullies through assertions of the victim’s worthlessness or insistence that, “the world would be better without them [the victim]” (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology).
Quick Facts on Bullying
- Why do some people bully? There are various reasons for people to bully like peer pressure, to become popular, to avoid being bullied or they want to “fit in.” However there are some people who enjoy the sense of power they get from dominating someone else, they may also gain some sort of reward for bullying. This reward can be psychological (feeling of power, status, prestige) or material (money or other items exhorted from victim). Some people simply enjoy causing others pain. Though this is not always the case, this enjoyment of pain or the need for power over others can be a result of an abusive, uninvolved or overly restricted family life (Olweus Bullying Prevention Program).
- What triggers bullying? Reasons for bullying are many and can include differences in race, religion, gender, intelligence, athletic ability, sexuality, socio-economic background, appearance or even popularity within a given community or group. This is not a definitive list, virtually anyone can be bullied or be a bully.
- How does gender play a role? Gender plays a small role when it comes to who bullies, both boys and girls can be bullies, but gender makes a difference in how and whom each gender will bully. Boys will bully boys or girls using for the most part physically aggressive methods. Girls, on the other hand, mostly bully other girls using non-physical means. Severity of abuse is the same between genders: girls can be just as mean as boys to their victims (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology) .
- Warning Signs: Children in particular can be afraid to turn a bully, for fear of being seen as a “tattletale” or being bullied further, this makes solving a bully problem very difficult. Someone being bullied may have unexplained bruises or other damage to their person or possessions. Victims may also become evasive when talking about school, withdrawn, depressed or reluctant to go to school or a particular class. Parents or peers who notice this behavior should seek help for the victim immediately (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology).
- Affects: Bullying can do more damage that just cuts and bruises. The emotional scars of ongoing abuse by one’s peers can have lasting damage on one’s self-esteem, confidence and ability to trust. Also, those who bully are more likely to use and possibly abuse substances, get into fights and commit crimes.
General Resources on Bullying
- Bullying.org : Bullying.org provides resources in the form of multimedia presentations, online anti-bullying courses, links, book recommendations, articles and a support group, all about bullying in general and how to combat it.
- Family First Aid:Family First Aid provides general information on problems of teenagers. In addition they provide information on treatment options and facilities for addressing these problems.
- Live Science: This site is a database of science, health and technology news articles and videos made by their own reporters and video producers as well as those made by their partners The National Science Foundation and Technovelgy.com.
- National Crime Prevention Council :NCPC provides resources, training opportunities and events related to crime prevention.
- Parenting.org : Parenting.org provides information to parents and caregivers on issues facing their children and parenting tips in different categories for the different stages of their child’s life.
- Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use: This site has professional resources, articles and reports, a blog written by a professional, and more to try to help prepare children for growing up in the Web 2.0 world.
- Cyberangels : Cyberangels is an online safety education program targeted at the general public. Their site addresses topics such as dealing with cyberbullies and password safety. A portal directs parents to a portion of the site specifically geared towards them and how to make families internet savvy and safe.
- Cyberbullying.ca: Written by Bill Belsey, this site provides a plethora of useful information. Here you can find examples of cyberbullying, what can be done, facts and recent news, and related resources.
- Cyber Mentors: Cyber Mentors provides a safe gaven for kids to come and seek help if they are being bullied online. The site has information about bullying during gaming, a place to chat to other victims and professionals, real life stories, recent news, and more.
- Cyberbullying Research Center: The CRC is dedicated to “identifying the causes and consequences of online harassment” through research and providing information and resources to the public on cyberbullying.
- Cyber Law Enforcement Organization: CLEO is an organization of ” law enforcement officers, who specialize in cybercrime investigation, training other law enforcement officers and who assist cybercrime victims online.” Their site also provides information for cybercrime-fighting training and a tipline to report cybercrimes.
- Make a Difference for Kids: Make a Difference for Kids is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote awareness of cyberbullying and prevent kids from taking a drastic measure such as suicide. The site was created in memory of two victims of cyberbullying. It provides safety tips, programs, personal stories, suicide awareness, volunteers, and Web links.
- NetSmartzKids: NetSmartKidz provides a place where parents and gaurdians, educators, law enforcement, teens, and kids can get more information on cyberbullying and being safe in the Internet age.
- Stop Cyberbullying: This site provides information on the what, how and why of cyberbullying as well as resources on how to take action against cyberbullying.
- TeenAngels: TeenAngels is a division of WiredSafety.org that is comprised of teenage volunteers educated in all aspects of online safety in order to educate their peers and community.
- WiredSafety.org: WiredSafety.org is a resource for “internet help, safety and education.” They provide links, articles and an email helpline for relevant questions and concerns.
Child Bullying Resources
- Center for Disease Control:The CDC is a government organization that provides information in order to promote public health and safety. Their site provides general information, statistics and outside resources on a wide array of health-related topics.
- KidsHealth: The KidsHealth website is divided into three sections: one geared toward parents, another aimed at kids and another just for teenagers. They are a database of informally written articles that address various issues that children face in growing up and that parents face in raising their children.
- National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center : NYCPRC is a “federal resource for communities working to prevent violence committed by and against young people.” Their site provides links and PDF files regarding youth violence prevention.
- Stop Bullying Now!: Stop Bullying Now! is a very kid-friendly site with separate portals for parents and children. In addition to general information on bullying, the site provides games, webisodes and quizzes to identify and address problems with bullying.
Workplace Bullying Resources
- BNET : BNET is a resource for working professionals, providing them with the tools and resources for success. Their focus is on improving the working environment in order to improve productivity and increase success.
- BullyEQ:BullyEQ provides comprehensive information on different workplace bullies and how to deal with them. They also provide links to other helpful sites, articles, books and interviews.
- Workplace Bullying Institute: WBI uses research, individual help, education programs, employer consultation and legislative advocacy to eliminate workplace bullying. Their site provides resources for bullied individuals and employers seeking to battle instances of bullying in their workplace.
- The Work Trauma Foundation :The Work Trauma Foundation describes itself as a “resource, education and self-help site for managers, academics and victims.” Resources include a detailed list of terms, current events, links and book recommendations.
- Workplace Violence News: Workplace Violence News provides links to articles on related current events, research, the best coping strategies and training programs. The site provides information on school, healthcare and workplace violence but retains a focus on violence in the workplace.
Resources on the Laws and Rights of Victims
- Bully Police USA: Bully Police USA is a “watchdog organization” dedicated to reporting developments in anti-bullying legislation and advocating for bullying victims.
- Healthy Workplace Bill : This is the website for a legislative movement for the enactment of anti-bullying laws in the United States. Specifically they’re promoting the Healthy Workplace Bill, this site describes the problem of workplace bullying and how the bill will help address it.
- Social Safety : Social Safety provides information and resources on how social networking sites (such and Myspace and Facebook) can be dangerous. Portals direct users to areas of the site directed specifically towards educators, teens, parents, law enforcement and government. In addition to addressing the general problems of social networking and the internet, Social Safety provides information on current anti-bully laws and how to support new laws.
- Women’s Rural Advocacy Programs : WRAP serves southwestern Minnesota in cooperation with Domestic Violence Community Advocacy programs. Their site provides general information and resources on getting help for problems with domestic violence, harassment and internet safety.
Resources on Prevention, Counseling, and Treatment
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology :AACAP is an organization composed of psychiatrists and physicians dedicated to promoting ” an understanding of mental illnesses and remove the stigma associated with them.” They accomplish this through distribution of information in the form of articles, links, annual meetings and an employment service for health-related careers.
- Boys’ Town: From community support and in-home services to intensive residential treatment centers and specialized group homes, Boys’ Town offers a wide range of services to address a wide range of problems in the troubled youth they assist.
- Bullyingcourse.com:Bullyingcourse.com offers online courses for parents and educators on battling bullying at home and in the classroom. Additionally, they provide links to articles in other media pertinent to their focus.
- Diamond Ranch Academy: The Diamond Ranch Academy is a ” Youth Residential Treatment Center for troubled teens ages 12-18.” Besides a typical school education, students at the Diamond Ranch Academy receive therapy based on need and training in life skills such as effective studying, applying for jobs, communications and leadership.
- The Family Compass:The Family Compass provides a resources to family such as help hotline numbers, website links and book titles to address the different problems facing families today.
- Olweus Bullying Prevention Program: OBPP is a program for bullying prevention used internationally on a school, class and individual level. This site provides general information on bullying as well as resources for following the Program.
- Pathways Courses:This site offers online courses in prevention for educators and the general public. Issues addressed include problems such as alcohol abuse, bullying, drug abuse and suicide.