Recently, we have witnessed the worrying increase and severity of cases of bullying worldwide, with >catastrophic consequences for both the victims and their families. However, despite having general ideas, we know less than we think about this type of abuse.

What is bullying?

Bullying is, by definition, the exposure that a person suffers to physical and psychological harm, in an intentional and continuous way by another person. or group of people. Likewise, they are all those persecution or harassment behaviors. The objective of this type of abuse is to intimidate, harm and frighten, so that the aggressor can obtain something from his victim.

Although the best known is the so-called school bullying, which occurs in children and adolescents, we should not be confused: there is also bullying between adults , what we call “mobbing”.

School bullying: why does it happen?

Bullying between minors, or bullying, usually occurs during the moments in which the harasser (or “bully”) believes that adult figures are not interested observing: during breaks, class changes, school transportation…

The causes that give rise to bullying depend on each case and situation, but we can highlight a series of common characteristics in the profile of the bully:

  • The school bully is incapable of feeling empathy with his victim, and therefore, he is not sensitive to the suffering he causes.
  • In many cases, the origin of the stalker’s violence comes from social or family problems. In addition, they may be people who have also been or are being harassed.
  • Another factor that can influence the stalker’s behavior is an unfavorable socioeconomic situation, or the existence of adysfunctional family.
  • It is important to emphasize that one of the key points for abusive behavior to occur is the school climate. If the bully sees himself as having an advantage over the victim (for example, if he does not receive punishment, or his peers do so) support), he will feel safe with his actions, and therefore, he will not stop his harassment.

How do you know if someone is being bullied?

The detection of bullying is very difficult , since normally, the victim tends to hide it from her loved ones and does not ask for help. As a teacher or family member, it is important to know the children and know how to react to sudden changes in their personality. .

We must bear in mind, unfortunately, that there are groups more likely to suffer from it, such as theLGTBI+group, in which case it is called homophobic bullying, or simply minors perceived as “different”. However, we want to remember that anyone can be harassed, even if they are not part of these groups.
However, there are a series of indicators that can alert families and teachers:

  • Decline in school performance.
  • Generalized depression, anxiety, irritability or malaise. You can also observe restlessness, as if the child were in a state of constant alert.
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping.
  • Social isolation and apathy. The minor usually feels uncomfortable with other people, and exhibits avoidance behaviors.
  • Refusal to go to school, or to see their classmates (for example, extracurricular classes or other activities in which their classmates are involved).
  • In many cases, and due to fear, the child denies the facts : for example, he comes home with an injury, and tries to hide it, or covers it up with some type of lie . In case of doubt towards him, an extreme emotional response begins, such as uncontrolled crying or trembling.
  • In the worst of situations, normally when the minor has been bullied for a long time, or very intensely,suicide ideas and attempts appear.

Recently, we also have the 4 Cs rule, developed by NACE (No To School Bullying), which tells us the following regarding how to detect bullying:

  • Changes: drops in grades, mood changes, loss of appetite, frequent loss or deterioration of school supplies, lack of interest in socializing… any change in attitude or environment strong> of the minor can be a sign of attention.
  • Bells: “Ringing bells” is one of the synonyms fortruancy, that is, not going to school. The child presents the “Sunday afternoon” syndrome, that is, a somatization of anxiety and fear that causes headaches, nausea, etc. /li>
  • Body: if the unconscious response of the victim changes (he shrinks, looks at the ground, wants to hide), and above all, if we feel that he is scares easilyit is an important warning sign. At this point they may also present injuries and/or self-harm.
  • Customs: changes in daily life, such as wanting to arrive at school earlier or later to avoid encountering bullies; not wanting to go out to the blackboard… The understanding of stage language can provide us with very relevant clues when it comes to detecting a case of harassment.

Types of bullying

Whenever bullying is mentioned, we usually imagine a concrete form of it. However, bullying can occur in many ways and with many different intensities. According to the general guidelines, the forms of harassment are divided as follows:

  • Physical harassment: in direct, we can observe hits, pushes, or use of weapons to hurt to the victim. In the indirect , the most common thing is to break or hide his things so that he can’t find them. It is the most common type of bullying, especially among boys.
  • Psychological harassment: is where they attack the person’s self-esteem, and seek to produce fear in them through blackmail or intimidation , for example. It is one of the most difficult to detect, since this type of harassment occurs behind the back of anyone who can help the victim.
  • Verbal harassment: insults, imposition of names, threats or provocations. It is more used by girls as they approach adolescence.
  • Social harassment: the objective of this type of harassment is to isolate the victim. It is done by spreading rumors, humiliating the victim or trying to convince other children not to talk to them.
  • Sexual harassment: any action referring to the sexual act, or teasing about the sexual orientation. In serious cases, sexual abuse behavior may occur.
  • Cyberbullying: occurs through electronic devices. The way to proceed is through unpleasant messages or emails, spreading rumors by email or on social networks, degrading images or videos , or even the creation of fake profiles. It is a serious and worrying type of harassment, since through the networks a great reach and great visibility are achieved. Frequently, complements some of those seen previously.

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