What is bullying?

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What is bullying?

Bullying is when an individual or group uses its power and strength to repeatedly, deliberately and intentionally use words or actions against another or a group that hurts, threatens, excludes, harasses, humiliates verbally, physically, psychologically or electronically making the victim feel oppressed, traumatized and powerless.

Bullying could be:

  • Physical/Direct – assault or threats.
  • Verbal/Direct – insults, teasing, intimidation, name calling, homophobic language, racist remarks or any other form of verbal abuse.
  • Psychological/emotional – intentional use of words or actions that may cause psychological harm.
  • Social/relationship – deliberately excluding another with the intention to isolate and hurt them.
  • Indirect – occurs behind an individual’s back and is designed to harm their reputation or cause humiliation.
  • Cyber/electronic – bullying that is perpetrated via using social media.
  • Homophobic – deliberate and intentional inappropriate behaviour or comments directed towards an individual or a group that is of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) background.
  • Racial – consistent, deliberate and the intentional use of language or behaviour against an individual because of their ethnicity, skin colour, the way they talk or by their religious and cultural beliefs.

Bullying is Not:

  • One off incidents that are not repeated.
  • Having a bad mood or disagreement with another individual’s point of view is not bullying.
  • Apologising for behaviour immediately.
  • Bumping into someone unintentionally.
  • Statements of dislike towards another.
  • A single act of telling a joke that has no intention to make the other feel hurtful or embarrassed.
  • Expressions of unpleasant feelings towards another.
  • Some non-verbal behaviours i.e. social rejection/dislike, not playing with someone, choosing different groups to play with is not bullying however if it involves deliberate and repeated attempts to cause distress, exclude or create dislike then this could be bullying behaviour?