Bullying in the UK continues to be a massive problem with 69% of young people reporting that they have been bullied at some time during their childhood (BullyUk,2006). Bullying can be define as an unprovoked, sustained level or harassment or aggression which causes the person physical or psychological harm.
Bullying can happen in a number of locations including home, school, and youth groups and sports clubs. Bullying can occur from strangers, peers, neighbours, family and friends. There are many different types of bullying. These include:
Verbal bullying is described as bullying whereby the bully does not physically touch you but may say things to you, or to others, that causes you to become upset. This can include calling names, spreading rumours, telling lies about you or encouraging other people to say mean things to you.
Physical bullying is where you are physically touched in some way. This does not have to cause you physical harm to be classed as physical bullying; physical bullying can cause emotional upset as well.
That being said the majority of the time physical bullying does cause harm to the person’s body and over half of young people bullied have been physically hurt. 34% of these required hospital admission and 3% of attacks involved weapons although this figure is believed to have risen in recent years (BeatBullying, 2006).
Cyberbullying is where a person is harassed via technology. This includes the internet, mobile phones and even apps. Its estimated that over a quarter of secondary school aged children are bullied online in some way. Laws have recently changed allowing people to be charged for cyber bullying which is also known as “trolling”.
Sexual bullying is on the increase in the UK. Sexual bullying is classed as any form of bullying which is specifically targeted towards your sex and this can range from name calling to sexual assault. Being touched without your permission is sexual assault, regardless of the intent of the bully. 45% of teenage girls report to have been groped against their wishes (sugar/NSPCC, 2006) whilst nearly half of reported rapes in London are from under 18’s (Making the Grade, 2006). Sexual bullying is shown to have a significant link to the development of depression, eating disorders and self-harm.
Discriminatory bullying is when you are specifically bullied, in any way, due to your race, disability, sexual orientation or faith. In extreme case’s Discriminatory bullying can be classed as a hate crime and be dealt with accordingly by the police.
Bullying is a serious issue and can have detrimental effects on a young person’s mental state. Bullying can cause low mood, poor self-esteem, depression, self harm, eating disorders and suicidal thinking. It is estimated that 20 young people a year commit suicide due to bullying although it is believed that the number may be even higher than this not to mention the countless young people that attempt to take their own lives due to bullying but survive (BeatBullying, 2006) .
If you feel that you are being bullied do not feel you have to beat it alone. There are many options available to you. Talk to your parents, friends, a teacher or another adult you feel you can trust. If you feel that the bullying is having a significant effect on your mood then contact your GP or school nurse. You don’t need to take your parents to the appointment if you don’t want to but they can refer you to teams that can help. There are also a number of charities available that offer advice and counselling to young people being bullied and you can find web links to these below.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Tim Fields
If anybody you know is suffering from cyber bullying go to: