Identify Signs of Bullying

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Lately, children committing suicide due to being bullied have been in the news. Though the cause of these suicides may not entirely be blamed on bullying, being a victim from bullying can be part of the reason. Bullying is an age-old problem but has only recently been taken seriously. Usually, bullying happens at school, though it may happen around the neighborhood, and even in the home. While there is no clear cut way to determine whether your child is being bullied unless they confide in you, there are some tell tale signs that can alert you to a possible problem. Early detection and action may save lives.

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Types of Bullies

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There are different types of bullies, and they use different tactics. Knowing the types of bullies can help you identify the signs and better decide how to help a child being bullied and the child bullying.

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  1. 1
    Physical Bullies.
    These are the children who abuse other children through physical force. Usually they are bigger in body proportion, or are in groups that leave the victim helpless against physical abuse. These are the obvious bullies and signs of abuse are easily visible.
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  2. 2
    Verbal Bullies.
    These are the children who abuse other children verbally or through taunting. They use verbally abusive language to intimidate their victims and sometimes taunt them with the threat of physical violence. The signs of a child victim of a verbal bully may not be seen physically but can often be detected through change's in the behavior of the child being bullied.
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  3. 3
    Indirect Bullies.
    These are the children who harass their victims by spreading rumors or real but shameful news. Signs of abuse may not be physically present but can be seen in a child's emotional responses.
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  4. 4
    Cyber Bullies.
    These are the children who abuse other children by way of the internet. These can be coursed through emails and social media. This is the digital form of verbal and indirect bullying. Like the aforementioned two types, signs of this abuse may not be physically identifiable but only through a child's behavior.
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Indirect Bullying

What is indirect Bullying? Indirect bullying is also known as social or relational bullying. Its intention is to hurt it's victim by damaging his/her self esteem. This type of bullying are mostly performed by girls towards other girls. Majority of these cases happen in high school where young girls belong to a certain circle of friends and group making them feel superior than other. I can say that one perfect example of this can be seen in the movie Mean Girls.This type of bullying is not about physical confrontation, this form of bullying attacks your emotions. The following are the types of indirect bullying:

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  1. 1
    Spreading lies, rumors and gossip- I remember when I was a child, my classmate heard that one of our classmate was suspected as an adopted child.
    She was chubby, had curly hair and most of our classmate said that she was a little mentally ill. One day, a group of girls in our classroom told us that she was an adopted child and her real mother was a prostitute. The rumors spread so fast and the poor girl had been avoided by a lot of people because they said that if a mother is a sinner, a child could be a sinner also. The poor girl could not stand anymore the situation so she transferred to another school.
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  2. 2
    Name Calling- This means that you will be known for another name.
    One good example is my sister. My sister is incredibly tall. Her classmates named her giraffe. Though they don't actually call her giraffe directly whenever she passes by other students she can hear them saying that "She is the giraffe from class Acer right?". When I was a child I found it also funny but the impact to my sister is so grave. She lost her self esteem. She was athletic and fun to be with. But when they started calling her giraffe, she lost her interest in playing her favorite sport. This became even more hurtful to her when the people who were watching started cheering her on as giraffe instead of using her first name.
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  3. 3
    Silent treatment- This is also known as ostracism.
    It is a form of social rejection wherein an individual is excluded from social relationship and interaction. It can be done by avoiding communication with that individual and answering him/her with just a nod or cold shoulder. An individual who suffers from this may feel that he/she does not exist or is invisible to others. A victim of silent treatment may behave aggressively due to the effect of ostracism to his attitude, perception, and physiological condition.Silent treatment is destructive. Part of a person's brain detects pain and it can be triggered or activated if one person is experiencing silent treatment.
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  4. 4
    Staring- staring can be a form of bullying.
    How? giving a dirty is a good example. For example, you are walking around the corridor and everyone stops talking and just stares at you. How would you feel? Let me answer that. I would feel that there might be something wrong with my dress or my face. But it's a different case if that happens very often. Those stares means something to the person on the receiving end. Those looks seem to be scrutinizing every step that you take.
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  5. 5
    Laughing, Mocking or Giggling towards other person- This is something that is so obvious especially if the bullies accompany this with staring.
    I saw a lot of this back in high school. It is much the same scenario as the staring. You don't have any idea why they laugh whenever you walk in front of them. This will definitely bring you a feeling that you are different from them that's why they laugh at you.
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  6. 6
    Preventing an individual from developing friendships with others- This is one of the most indirect form of bullying that I really don't like.
    In this case, an individual or group of individual want to be friend with the bullies victim. The bullies will intercept that developing friendship by inflicting fear of repercussions onto the people or person who wants to develop a relationship with their victim. This mental torture is something that will make an individual depressed. The feeling of rejection is so powerful, people that surround the victim feel they can no longer get close because they are afraid that they will receive the same punishment or treatment from the bullies.
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Victims of Bullying Who Committed Suicide

  1. 1
    A teenage rape victim died at the age of 17 after hanging herself.
    Rehtaeh Parson was a victim of gang rape and one of the rapists took her photo while she was being raped. One of them distributed the pictures to their entire campus and neighborhood. The alleged rapist was never convicted because of the girl's reputation, and people saying that they only did it with a "slut", as the victim Rehtaeh was considered. This case was viewed as "your word against my word" and the police said that it was not a criminal issue, but just a community issue.
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  2. 2
    A boy diagnosed with muscular dystrophy was attacked by another boy while he was on his way home.
    The victim's name was Mitchell Wilson. The attacker took Mitchell's father's iPhone, and slammed Mitchell's head on the pavement. The boy was arrested and mandated to stay at least 500 meters away from Mitchell. However, this boy didn't usually obey this order. The boy was transferred to another other school, but his friends did not cease tormenting Mitchell. Mitchell decided not to go to school anymore and suffered from anxiety. His father eventually found Mitchell dead in his room, after he had killed himself during the night.
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  3. 3
    A boy name Devin Brown hung himself because of both physical and verbal bullying.
    His father said that one day he came home with pieces of peanut butter sandwich all over his body. It seemed like somebody else had done that to him. In one instance, Devin caught his teacher's attention because one of the other students was carrying a knife and threatening their teacher. When Devin told their teacher, the others began calling him "snitch". His stepmother and sister eventually found him dead in his room, where he had hung himself.
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  4. 4
    Jamey Rodemeye committed suicide and was found dead.
    Cyber-bullying was one of the reasons why he felt so down. He made a video on YouTube to give encouragement to other victims of bullies. It was an anti-bullying post. But, it seems like no one cared about what he felt, and those who bullied him continued to do so until they pushed him over the edge.
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  5. 5
    Another victim of cyber bullying was Amanda Todd.
    Her friend asked her to show off her breast in one of their photos. Then one day, her picture was all over the net, and everyone in their community eventually knew about it. She was devastated when she found out that one of the bullies used her breast picture as a profile picture. Out of sadness, she ended up taking her own life.
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Indications That a Child is Being Bullied

As a parent or a guardian, you should be wary of signs that a child is being bullied. Depending on the type of abuse a child gets, these signs may differ. Below are some of the indications that a child is being bullied.

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  1. 1
    The child seems to have bruises and wounds that occur from time to time.
    Some children may hide this or make excuses that these were caused during playing.
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  2. 2
    Tattered and destroyed uniforms and school items, lost items and supplies.
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  3. 3
    The child shows disinterest in going to school.
    Most children will try to take a day off once in a while, but if it is unusual or happens more often than it should, then there might be a problem. Some may even fake illnesses just to escape from going to school. Common illnesses being faked are stomach-aches, toothaches, and headaches.
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  4. 4
    Sudden change in eating habits.
    Some loss the appetite to eat while others suddenly has the urge to eat a lot. Anxiety and depression can often affect the appetite in one way or another. It could possibly also come from a bully taking the victim's lunch money or the lunch itself.
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  5. 5
    Sudden drop in grades for no reason.
    Some children loss the will to study.
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  6. 6
    Sudden change in behavior.
    Some children suddenly withdraw from their normal friends and prefers to stay alone.
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  7. 7
    The child often experience nightmares and has difficulties in sleeping.
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  8. 8
    The child talks about suicide.
    Some verbally speak of it while others unconsciously write it on their notebooks. Even if bullying isn't the problem, this is certainly an issue that demands immediate attention.
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Indications That a Child is Bullying Others

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A child bullying others may act normal at home. However, as a responsible parent or guardian, you should take note of these signs and check if your child had signs of abusing other children.

  1. 1
    The child became short tempered.
    He or she gets irritated by anything easily. The child usually get into fight with other children at home or in the neighborhood.
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  2. 2
    The child gets more and more aggressive.
    A child bullying others would tend to be physically aggressive at home.
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  3. 3
    The child goes with children who are noted to bully other children.
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  4. 4
    The child often speaks of verbally abusive language.
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  5. 5
    The child shows cruelty to animals.
    He or she does not show remorse in kicking a little kitty or beating the puppy with a stick.
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  6. 6
    The child often watch violent videos on his cellphone and computer.
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  7. 7
    The child is overly conscious about his status and reputation.
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  8. 8
    The child brings home items that are not his own and has unexplained money on him.
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What to Do When There Are Signs of Bullying

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  • Investigate. Try to ask neighbors, friends and classmates of an involved child (victim or bully) if they notice signs of bullying.
  • Report. Report to the school administration and to the parents about the possibilities that a child is bullied or is being a bully.
  • Talk. Talk to the involve child and tell him that you are there to help him. Make him understand of the situation and the possible consequences of the actions of both involved.
  • Be watchful. Make sure that you frequently check the child's room for possible items that may hurt himself or others.
  • Show you love. This is what most children yearn for, even the bully ones.

How to identify bully neighbors

  1. 1
    If this neighbor says he accidentally bumped your pet dog or cat with his car or bicycle, be wary.
    It might have been intentional.
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  2. 2
    If he plays his music loud and clear, so the neighbors even a quarter of a mile away can hear it, at any time of the day or night, and refuses to turn it down when you ask him politely.
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  3. 3
    If you notice that his dog (of the attacking kind) is let loose in his yard every time you go outside.
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  4. 4
    If his actions have led to the damage of your property, and he hasn't paid for the repair or even apologized, or even worse, if he acted aggressively when approached about the situation.
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  5. 5
    If you have guests on your front porch or in your garden, and he is inconsiderate to you and them.
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  6. 6
    If your child is asks you to accompany him down the street or walk him to school more often than usual, it is possible that other kids or their parents are bullying him.
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After identifying a neighborhood bully, what to do?

  1. 1
    If the bullying is really serious, take out a restraining order from the court, mandating that the neighbors stay at least a couple of meters away from you all the time.
    In the case of loud music, pursue an order that it be kept to a certain decibel level, or that your neighbor can only operate his music at scheduled times of the day.
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  2. 2
    If the bully neighbor is just renting, start a petition campaign with your other neighbors to have him ousted from the neighborhood because he is becoming a pest to the community.
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  3. 3
    Have your community affiliated with the Safe Zones Neighborhoods Program.
    It is a scheme designed by Jerry Pinto, the founder, for neighbors to take a stand against bullying in their streets.
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  4. 4
    Have a third party mediator like the Village Homeowners' Association resolve the issue with you, the bully and the mediator in attendance.
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  5. 5
    If a mediator cannot solve the problem, try to get a restraining order from the court, as mentioned above, or call the police (911), as they may have more luck with taming the bully.
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Tips

As with any problem that your child experiences, it is very important to talk about bullying. Let your child know that they can confide in you and rely on your help in overcoming any difficulties that they face. As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else and being alert to changes in their behavior or attitude can help stop a problem before it gets out of hand.

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Questions and Answers

What are the signs of bullying in adults?

I am dealing with adults who feel that it is funny to intimidate me.. I have tried: I have tried ignoring them but they gossip about me and stare at me and whisper when I am in public.. I think it was caused by: I am new in town and I have a shy, quiet personality. They think I am vulnerable.

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Exchanging glances, silent nods. and whispers with each other in a person's presence may just mean that the person is not liked. Silent treatment can be either deserved or just a sign of the weak nervous system of the person who ignores you (this may not be related to bullying). Be yourself and be above those people. Being unique is better than to be like everyone. However, some people never grow up and bully others even at advanced age. The signs usually are

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  • not speaking to the person seriously and uniting in groups of several people to mock the person (including spreading rumors about him or her);
  • demanding favors or something that the person does not what to do with threats about telling something about the person to others (for example, being asked to drive a person home and being threatened that your girlfriend will know about your bad story from the past if you do not oblige);
  • demanding that the person follow one's orders and taking an aggressive stance to dissidence (this is most notable with fathers of girlfriends);
  • disparaging speech about the person in his or her or others' presence, knowing that no action will follow (either by using social or carrier ladder, for example);
  • physical threats or actions that humiliate the person (for example, a teacher at university asking you to stay after the examination to harass you).
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Categories : Mental Health

Recent edits by: Donna, Rebecca M., Jonathan

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