Bullying is far more complex than the simple act of belittling another human being. It is a social ill with a price, that has multiple forms, and affects up to 86% of teens regularly (Coloroso). Kathiann Kowalski, author for Current Health, has characterized bullying as a repeated aggressive behavior that has not been aroused by anything, just sheer meanness. It is a shape of intimidation, which is devised to threaten, frighten, or coerce someone.
In order to suppress the bullying problem, it is first important that educators, counselors, parents, and students know the characteristics of a bully. This can at times be difficult, as many simply assume that because they might not see bullying ...view middle of the document...
These students are most likely bigger, older, stronger, and more popular than the children they lord their power over (Kuther). In such a situation, the victims and the antagonizer are both aware of this imbalance of power, with the antagonizer aware that his or her behavior causes distress, enjoying the victim’s reaction (Kuther). This, combined with repetition, in effect allows bullies to create an environment filled with terror, one that feels unsafe, and can has uncountable effects on the victims.
Victims of bullying are often stereotyped as hypersensitive, but they can come in many different shades and forms. These children often can be characterized as anxious, insecure, and cautious. Many suffer from low self esteem, which can be exacerbated by the bullying itself (Banks). And however diverse the victims of bullies may be, as Banks writes, “they tend to be physically weaker,” than their oppressors. Victim of physical and verbal bullying, and mother, Sarah, described her experiences of being bullied as “lacking the ability to deal with other childrens’ cruelty and victimization.”
Victims most often share an inherent difference to their bullies, such as race, sexual orientation, or weight. Over 50 percent of LGBT students have reported being physically harassed, and over 90 percent, verbally (Duncan). These types of minorities are more likely to be put in situations in which they find themselves victims.
It is also important to take into account that with the advent of cyber bullying, children who would not have been put into situations in which they are victimized, now are. Social media has created a medium for individuals to feel the empowering and egotistic effects of being a bully, while dehumanizing their victim(s) through the computer screen. Cyberbullying almost solely centers around harassment, which is Sarah also voiced concerns that, “[Cyberbullying] makes the attack public, where as before the internet, bullying attacks were a more private matter.”
Olweus defines two types of victims: the passive, and the provocative. The passive, or submissive victims are far more common, making up 80-85% of victims. However, the provocative victim, whose behavior may be a driving force behind negative reaction from the majority in a group, sets a different dynamic and environment than the former.
The more drastic effects of being a victim of bullying are heavily emphasized in the American media; stories such as Amanda Todd’s have gained much publicity over the last couple of years due to their inherently tragic nature. But while these events are dismal, it is a disingenuous assumption that these extreme cases are the only in which bullies have left lasting impressions on their victims. It is these hidden marks that cause the most damage. Every child who has been bullied knows the unsung consequences of their oppressors habits. Psychological and often physical scars line the memories and bodies of victims, sometimes lasting a...