Bullying in Ireland: A Growing Trend?

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Bullying now becomes a growing concern the whole world over especially in Ireland. Everyone particularly those at young age are affected. And the saddest part is, though some had successfully combated against it, others still feel and become more helpless. Even some parents aren’t aware that it’s happening on their child due to lack of communication. Discover more on Bullying in Ireland!

A Peek at Bullying

Bullying can be defined as the repeated use of power by one or more persons intentionally to hurt, harm or adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others (Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum). Bullying comes in many forms; it could be verbally which is through saying or writing things including teasing, unsuitable sexual comments or even threatening. It may also be social bullying where a bully hurt someone’s reputation or relationship to the public. Physical bullying on the other hand involves hurting someone physically which includes hitting, kicking or breaking his property (www.stopbullying.gov).

It is taking place typically at school and even on the internet – Cyber bullying – which is now a growing concern in Ireland. It could also happen to everyone but young people are mostly the target. Even persons with perceived or actual disability and those homosexual are victims.

Bullying in Ireland, Statistics at Different Perspectives

Recent research stated that a quarter of young Irish 9-16 experience bullying. The level of harassment in Irish schools is above the EU average and most of them cannot easily cope up with it. This can be concluded from the number of teenagers who are considering suicide after being bullied (www.irelandstats.com). Another bullying statistics in Ireland from the Anti-Bullying Centre at Trinity College founded out that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have been a part in Cyber bullying, either the victim or the bully. A Growing Up in Ireland study agreed saying 24% of 9-17 years old reported being bullied (Irish Central).

Other bullying statistics in Ireland from Anti-Bullying Centre in Trinity College stated the following:

  • 31% of primary students in Irish schools have been bullied;
  • 74% of these students reported they were bullied in the playground while 31% occurred inside the classroom and 19% in going to or from school;
  • 16% of secondary students in Irish schools have been bullied;
  • 47% of these incidents happened in the classroom, 37% in the corridors and 27% in the playground. 8.8% in going to or from school.

Here also is a report regarding the parents when it comes to Bullying in Ireland:

  • 40% had one or more children being bullied; 80% with their children telling them they were bullied;
  • 22% reported that they were first bullied at ages 8-9;
  • 68% think that schools should take stronger action and 63% feel that victims should be given more advice;
  • 30% of these children being bullied at age between 12 and 13.

Bullying in Ireland: What Can You Do?

A simple advice says “if you’re the target of bullying, be assertive, but not aggressive. Firmly tell the bully to stop. Calmly leave. If the bullying continues, report it.”

First things first, be calm and give the bully a lighthearted approach. Don’t be over too sensitive or reactive and try to laugh if the taunt is simply an attempt to humor. Show the bully that his words have no effect on you. He may later on stop.

If violence is imminent, protect yourself; just simply walk or run away. If you can’t, ward off the violence the best way you can.

Then report it – to your parents, any adult you can trust or to any school official such as your teacher or guidance counselor.

If you’re a target of sexual harassment, firmly say no to any sexual advances. You can also make a scene to embarrass the harasser. If all fails, walk away and report the incidence. (Tips taken from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)

Bullying in Ireland: What Can Parents Do?

It is very important for the parents to know how to spot signs that signifies their child is being bullied. Such are the following :

  • Not wanting to go to school; you’ll notice he has a lot of excuses like illness;
  • Becoming withdrawn. You’ll observe he becomes easily aggressive, moody or sad;
  • Observe his physical and mental changes like loss of appetite, disturbed sleep, depressed or even suicidal. Look also for bruises/scratches/marks on his body;
  • Isolation from the peers he used to go along with;
  • Damaged property;
  • Sudden change in his school performance.

But first, parents should of course have open communication with their children. This is also to get their children more open to talk. They should see to it that their children can easily talk to them. Undeniably, unconditional support and proper guidance are always the best weapon.

Learn more about Bullying in Ireland!

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