Sean Horsley, LCSW
Bear River Valley Hospital
Bullying is a widespread and serious problem that can happen anywhere. It is not a phase children go through, it is not “just messing around” and it is not something to grow out of. Bullying can cause serious and lasting harm to children, teens and even adults. Bullying is abuse.
Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree bullying involves an imbalance of power where people who bully use their power to control or harm and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves.
Intent to cause harm is different than harm caused by accident; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm. Repetition is the incidents of bullying that happen to the same person over and over by the same person or group.
Bullying can take many forms. Examples include verbal, social, physical and cyber bullying. Verbal is name calling and teasing, while social involves spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose and breaking up friendships. Physical abuse includes hitting, punching and shoving, while cyber bullying is carried out through the Internet, mobile phone or other digital technology to harm others. An act of bullying may fit into one or more of these groups.
There are many warning signs that could indicate someone is involved in bullying, either by bullying others or by being bullied. However, these warning signs may indicate other issues or problems as well. If you are a parent or educator, learn more by talking to someone about bullying.
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