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have the right to feel safe at home, at school, and in the community. Bullying is not a normal part of growing up. It doesn't usually go away on its own and often gets worse with time. Bullying needs to be dealt with directly. To stop hurtful behaviour, we all need to respond when it occurs and take steps to prevent it. The first step is recognizing that a problem exists.

What is Bullying?IMG_6394.jpg

Bullying is a form of aggression where one person uses strength and control to maintain a position of power over someone else. As bullying evolves over time, the power dynamics and inequality in the relationship become stronger. The victimized teen gets caught in an abusive relationship. This problem can also occur between groups of young people.
The basic elements of bullying are:

  • Unequal power: One person has more power than the other person (or at least it seems that way to the people involved)
  • Hurtful actions: Physically or psychologically harmful behaviour takes place
  • Direct and indirect actions: The behaviour may be face-to-face or behind someone's back
  • Repetitive behaviour: The hurtful actions continue, making it more and more difficult for the victim to escape
  • Teasing, roughhousing, or even play fighting are not considered bullying when both teens are willing participants.

How does Bullying Change with Age?

As children get older, the type and range of bullying behaviours increase. The nature of bullying often reflects important developmental changes and challenges. While physical, psychological, and social bullying are present in children as young as four years old, other bullying behaviours emerge only as children move toward adolescence. For example, sexual harassment and dating aggression typically begin in middle school and increase in the high school years when youth are experiencing physical changes and becoming interested in dating. Although individual patterns of aggression vary, the following table indicates general types of bullying behaviour for youth in middle school and high school.

Different Types of Bullying1051521_51758773.jpg

  • Physical bullying can hurt your body, damage belongings, or make you feel badly about yourself. Some examples include hitting, punching, pushing, stealing, kicking, or engaging in dating aggression
  • Psychological bulling can be verbal or social
  • Verbal bullying makes you feel badly about yourself. Verbal bullying includes insults, name-calling, threats, comments about how you look or talk, physical or verbal insults due to ethnicity, and sexual harassment, which may include taunting or discussing sensitive sexual issues, creating sexual rumours or messages, making homophobic comments, rating sexual body parts or name-calling, telling sexual jokes, and initiating unwanted sexual touching
  • Social bullying can be used to make you feel alone or not part of a group. It may include gossiping, rumours, ignoring, and not including someone in your group

Helpful Links:

For more information on Teen Bullying, click here.