Bullying is when someone or a group mistreats, dominates, or frightens someone else who is weaker than them.
Bullying can be physical aggression, verbal abuse, or cyberbullying through digital platforms.
Physical bullying is probably the more obvious form of bullying because you can see it, and it leaves marks or broken bones. It includes hitting, kicking, pushing, punching, or damaging someone's belongings. It leaves physical pain and hidden psychological damage.
Verbal bullying is when vicious, nasty words can be said to make the other person feel bad. They might use gaslighting, which is a manipulative tactic used to confuse the other person by not being truthful. They might use more obvious insults, derogatory remarks, name-calling, shouting, criticism, humiliation, lying, mocking, belittling, or using threats.
Verbal abuse is harder to detect because it is internalised and can profoundly affect a child's self-esteem, emotional well-being, and mental health.
Cyberbullying means our children can be attached any time of the day or night. Bullies can send hurtful messages, spread rumours, and share embarrassing or manipulated photos or videos on social media, text messaging, and in online gaming communities.
The consequences of cyberbullying can be severe, leading to emotional distress, social isolation, and detrimental effects on mental health.
Bullying doesn't just happen at school. It can happen within families in the community and workplace.
The more we can help protect them, the better.