More Bullying Facts
Victims of bullies often feel isolated, but they are not alone. That is the significance of the statistic that 75 to 80% of students report that they have been bullied "sometime or more often."
Derogatory comments about sexual orientation are so common that many people don't even think of them as harassment. However, these comments dehumanize people and cause serious emotional distress.
The bully and the victim are sometimes locked into their roles by the social stigmas surrounding them (tough, mean, scary, vs. weak, cry baby, wimpy), and these stigmas are perpetuated by their peers, who are reluctant to change their opinion of bully or of victim, no matter what they do.
"bystander = accomplice" — Bullies are encouraged when other students treat the bullying episodes as entertainment, encourage fights (have you ever crowded around two people going at it, chanting "fight, fight, fight"?), or help to spread rumors. By laughing at the insult or the tease, by watching the fight, or just by being an audience to the bullying behaviour , bystanders become low-level accomplices.
Another interesting point is that the relationship between a bully and his or her victim can be complex. Bullies don't choose their victims at random. Not only are most victims weaker than the bully, they appear sensitive and quiet compared to other kids. Some bullies and their victims are a dyad, with each getting something that satisfies some needs in the short term. The bully rewards the victim with attention and the victim rewards the bully with submission. It's almost as if there is deep-rooted solace and familiarity in their relationship. After all, more often than not, they are both disliked by other students. However, overall and in the long term the bully/victim relationship is harmful to both. One way to describe the relationship between bullies and their victims is that they are "negatively symbiotic."
What can one do about bullying? There are many...
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