What is bullying?
Bullying can be defined as a physical, psychological or verbal attack against an individual or group of individuals by a person or group of persons, causing physical or psychological harm to the victim. It is usually conscious and wilful and commonly consists of repeated acts of aggression and/or manipulation. It can take a number of forms – both physical and non-physical, either in combination or in isolation. Any bullying, whether physical or non-physical, may result in lasting psychological damage to the individual.
Bullying generally falls into one or a combination of the following categories:
- Physical Bullying – Unprovoked assault on a person or group which can range from a ‘prod’ to grievous bodily harm.
- Psychological – Reduction of a person’s self-esteem or confidence through threatening behaviour, taunting or teasing about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, family circumstances, appearance, or any other feature of their lives which can be used to wound or humiliate them.
- Social- Ostracism/rejection by peer group.
- Verbal – The use of language in a derogatory or offensive manner, such as swearing, racist or sexist abuse, sexual innuendo, spreading rumours, etc.
- Cyber bullying – Using mobile phones or the internet to deliberately upset someone.
- Homophobic – Any hostile or offensive action against lesbians, gay males, bisexuals or trans-gender people, or those perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-gender.