Bullying is a problem that can have serious consequences for everyone involved. This can include not only the bully and the victim involved, but also the parents, teachers, and other concerned individuals who not only witness the bullying and Physical Abuse but are often at a loss as to what to do about it.
Young people often experience many negative social interactions in their youth, but these are not considered bullying unless the following criteria are met:
* The same victim is targeted repeatedly.
* The intent of the bully or bullies is to physically hurt, intimidate, or embarrass the victim.
* The actions of the bully are intended rely on a real or perceived imbalance of power. This can occur if the bully is stronger or has a higher social standing than the victim.
What is Physical Abuse?
In the context of bullying, physical abuse can also take many forms. These include, but are not limited to the following signs of physical abuse:
* Stealing or destroying possessions. This might include clothing, books and other supplies and lunch money
Physical bullying can occur virtually anywhere, although due to its nature it almost always happens at school. It can also happen on the way to or from school. Those in middle school are most often the ones who are physically bullied since it is at about this age that youngsters are attempting to establish a social identity and become a more important and established part of the social scene, whether in school or out. It is as a result of this that almost all middle school students are affected by bullying to one extent or another. Unfortunately, this kind of bullying not only involves direct contact with those who are being bullied, but also by condoning it by others. Those who might not “fit in” or tend to “stand out” in other ways most often become the victims of bullying at this age.
Effects of Physical Abuse
Bullying is becoming more and more common among today’s youth in locations such as in school and online, according to recently reported bullying statistics. There are different types of bullying of which bullying statistics reveal almost half of all students have experienced.
Unfortunately, recent bullying statistics show that bullying is on the rise among young adults, teens and children. The rise in these bullying statistics is likely due to a fairly recent form of bullying seen in recent years called cyber bullying. This type of bullying has gotten immense media attention over the past few years citing instances of cyber bullying pushed too far, and in many cases leading to cases of teen suicide or death. Many bullying statistics and studies have found that physical assaults have been replaced with constant cyber assaults in the form of bashing, rumors and other hazing content targeted at a single student or group of students.
- About 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online with one in four being verbally attacked more than once.
- About 35 percent of kids have been threatened online.
- About 58 percent of kids and teens have reported that something mean has been said about them or to them online.
- Other bullying statistics show that about 77 percent of students have admitted to being the victim of one type of bullying or another.
- The American Justice Department bullying statistics show that one out of ever 4 kids will be bullied sometime throughout their adolescence.
- 46 percent of males followed by 26 percent of females have admitted to being victims in physical fights as reported in one report of bullying statistics by the Bureau of Justice School.
- As these bullying statistics indicate, bullying is just getting worse in American schools. Many studies have shown that increasing domestic violence at home are leading to an increase in bullying online and at school.
- Researchers note that one way to help begin to lower these bullying statistics is to tell an adult when it is happening.
- According to the i-Safe American survey of students bullying statistics, about 58 percent of kids admit to never telling an adult when they’ve been the victim of a bullying attack.
- Another way to stay safe from bullies is to inform the school if the attacks are taking place on school property or have something to do with the school.
- Ignore messages sent by cyber bullies.
Based on the bullying statistics, it is clear that cyber bullying is on the rise more so than any other type of bullying. Many students report seeing these types of bullying in chat rooms, social networking websites like MySpace.com and Facebook.com. There has also been websites dedicated to targeting a student or group of students.
Many bullying studies revealed that students who are part of a minority group of students based on their gender, race, socioeconomic status as well as sexual preference are reasons other students use to harass and cyber bully one another. Many of these students are forced to deal with at-school bullying and have it follow them home as they see hurtful comments and rumors being said about them throughout the Internet. While this isn’t always a school-related issue, many schools are cutting down on this type of behavior from occurring at school by limiting computer time and prohibiting many of the social websites used to spread the hurtful information.
Because of the wide-spread amount of bullying it is more important than ever for parents and teachers to check in with children about bullying. Many students might be afraid to tell an adult or parent, which is why parents and teachers need to be aware of the signs of bullying and to pay attention to what is going on with their child or student. Another one of the best ways to handle bullying to help lower these numbers reported in bullying statistics is open communication. Students and children should be encouraged to tell a trusted adult, parent or teacher about any kind of bullying attack. It is the best way to help stop the situation from getting worse and to help prevent bullying from targeting more and more victims.
Who Are Those Who Are Bullied?
Physical bullying most often occurs among males, although a considerable number of females after often bullied or commit acts of bullying towards others. Bullying occurs for a large number of reasons, such as the desire to exert control over others, wanting to fit into a group, or wanting to stand apart from a group. Regardless of the reasons, bullies are often physically bigger and stronger than those they bully, with others acting to condone the bullying activities. It is also true that bullies stand apart from others in other ways, such as having a lack of self control, following rules and regulations, and having a regard for others. These issues might continue throughout the school years and even continue throughout life. Such problems as criminal activity, inability to hold a job or a relationship, and other problems can perpetuate themselves through life.
Victims of physical abuse by bullies are most often physically smaller and weaker than those who bully them. Victims of bullies are often marginalized by others, with the bullies most often being the better athletes and holding other distinctions. Victims of bullies are often made to feel like outsiders due to their weight, skin color, ethnicity and other distinctions.
* Arriving at home with unexplained cuts, bruises, and other injuries
* Unexplained damage to clothing, books, and other possessions
* Frequent “loss” of things that had been taken to school
* Complaints of not feeling well before school
* Ditching school or just certain classes
- Wanting to avoid going to school or going to school a certain way, such as taking strange routes home from school or not wanting to ride the bus
- Acting sad or depressed
- Withdrawing from others
- Saying they feel picked on
- Displaying low self esteem
- Mood swings, including anger or sadness
- Wanting to run away
- Trying to take a weapon to school
- Talking about suicide or violence against others
If a student is a victim of bullying, show love and support to the child and explain that the bullying is not their fault, and that what the bully is doing is wrong. Talk to the victim to find out when and how the bullying is taking place, then talk to teachers and school administrators about the problem. Bullying should always be taken seriously. Don’t encourage the victim to fight back. Often the best way to deal with bullies is to avoid them or react as little as possible. Unfortunately, with physical bullying this is not always possible. Staying with a friend or friends or where adults are supervising can sometimes help deter the bullying. If the victim is struggling with feelings of depression or anger, seek counseling to help them deal with their emotions.
If a student is being a bully, tell them that the behavior is not acceptable. All young people should be taught to respect others and that bullying is not acceptable.
Parents should talk to their children often about what goes on at school, including their friends and if they ever see or experience bullying. Parents should encourage their children not to support bullying, even by watching it, and to report it if it’s happening. Depending on the situation, the student may be able to stand up to the bully, show support for the victim, or at least walk away from the bullying and report it to an adult.
Parents of victims or of bullies can also encourage schools to have stronger anti-bullying measures, like anti-bullying campaigns, careful adult supervision of students, zero-tolerance policies, and counseling for students involved in bullying.