What is bullying?
Bullying is the persistent intentional harming of another person (or group) within an unequal power relationship. For a more child-friendly definition we can explain it as ‘Several times on purpose when they can’t defend themselves’. (STOP can help children remember this).
How does bullying differ from banter?
There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate.
There is an unequal power balance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves.
It is usually persistent or systematic.
It helps to consider one fight or argument between two people of equal power – this is NOT usually seen as bullying. Although many bullying episodes begin when friends fall out, we usually judge it to be bullying when one person or a group deliberately singles out others as a target and sets out to repeatedly humiliate or threaten them: a systematic abuse of power.
Intention – what if the bullying child did not mean it?
When a victim clearly feels they have been bullied but the bullying child does not understand the harm they have unintentionally caused, the case can be thought of as non-malign bullying. Punishment may be inappropriate or unproductive. Work to help the child understand the impact of their behaviour and make amends. The victim may need support to become resilient.
Forms of Bullying – Old & new ways
Bullying is as old as the hills yet new forms are constantly emerging. The intention may remain the same, but the tools at the bullies’ disposal are new. This can mean that the impact is also changing.
Face to face bullying and cyberbullying are no longer separate. Bullying migrates to the cybersphere or it is where people go to get revenge after traditional bullying. Many bullies use all available methods and victims are targeted in a wide range of ways. In the last twelve months schools within BIG Award have shown success in reducing cyberbullying but vigilance is always needed. Cyberbullying can lead to high-risk behaviour online including visiting websites encouraging anorexia, self-harm or even suicide. Someone who is cyberbullied may require support with e-safety, relationships skills and self-worth if you are to head off more worrying outcomes.
Prejudice driven bullying
Bullying is often driven by prejudice, fear or anger. People can be singled out for no apparent reason or even for a perception. The bullying can be linked to someone in their family or something the targeted child can do nothing to change. We often hear that siblings of seriously ill children report bullying targeted at them, or young people are bullied because someone in their family is gay. Other types of bullying may include:
Special Needs and Disability
Racist bullying (including religion and culture)
Sexist and Sexual bullying
All information on this page has been taken from: https://www.bullyinginterventiongroup.org/
This is a useful website which will provide you with more information about different forms of bullying.