For October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am continuing a series on the various abuses. Now, I will proceed with the next abuse: “Bullying…”
Bullying is defined as unwanted, assertive or aggressive behavior among children, teens, and even adults that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. It includes spreading rumors, making threats, excluding someone from a group on purpose, as well as attacking someone, whether physically or verbally.
There are several types of bullying:
1. Verbal Bullying—includes teasing, taunting, name calling, inappropriate sexual comments, and threatening comments
2. Social Bullying—includes telling others not to be friends with someone, leaving someone out of activities on purpose, spreading rumors about someone, gossiping, embarrassing someone in public
3. Physical Bullying—includes hitting, kicking, spitting, pinching, tripping, pushing, taking and/or breaking things, and making mean or rude hand gestures
4. Cyber Bullying,—which we have already discussed–includes any harassing, tormenting, embarrassing, or threatening comments or lies/ gossip made by text messaging, Facebook, websites, voice-messaging, emails or any form of internet social media.
Kids learn from the actions of others, especially adults. They watch how others manage stress and conflict as well as how they treat their friends, colleagues, and families. Many feel that verbal bullying is “nothing”.. however, words are very damaging to people and can affect their self-esteem and their decision-making in life. Also, more people get away with verbal bullying because of the lack of proof that it was done. No physical contact may be made but the damaging effects are still there despite the lack of physical contact. Also, many parents do not consider their children “bullies” because they treat their children the same intimidating, harassing ways. They may also treat their spouses the same abusive way. This is how the cycle of abuse starts and continues…These abusive people are blind to the fact that they “bully” their own children and own families. Education and exposure are keys to combating bullying and any abuse.