There is no legal definition of bullying, but it is usually defined as ‘the wilful, conscious desire to hurt, control, threaten or frighten someone. It is when someone or several people, repeatedly over a period of time, do or say unpleasant things to another person or group of people, or keep teasing them in an unwanted way. A sense of powerlessness can make it difficult for the bullied to defend his/her self’.
It is important to note that bullying behaviour is deliberate and repeated. A one-off incident cannot be described as bullying.
Bullying IS NOT part of growing up. One incident of bullying behaviour is serious enough but when it is persistent over a period of time it becomes a devastating problem. The detrimental impact bullying behaviour can have on the physical, emotional, academic, social and personal well-being of children and young people cannot be underestimated. At best, bullying causes great distress which can continue right through adulthood. At worst, bullying can lead to self-harm and suicide.
Types of bullying behaviour can include:
These things can happen at school or at home, but they can also happen online or on social networks. Bullying can also be part of other forms of abuse, including neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.