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What is bully?

Bullying is a willful, conscious desire to hurt another and put him/her under stress. It also referred as “peer abuse”.

Bullying includes physical assault and intimidation, theft and extortion, verbal abuse including teasing, racial and sexual harassment.

How often does it occur?

Bullying is common but most children have not told their parents or teachers.

Bullying is rife in young offenders or in institutions.

Both girls and boys bully; boys are more likely to use violence and girls to use subtle tactics like exclusion from friendship circles.

Signs And Symptoms

Most cases are unrecognized unless there are physical signs or the victim informs his/her parent or teacher.

It might present as non specific medical stress-related problem such as headache, abdominal pain etc. or deteriorating school grades


Effect of bullying

The effects of bullying can be serious and even fatal. About 85% of bullying victims suffer long term psychological damage and stress related disease later in their lives.

Unrecognized bullying will lead to mental health problem such as ;

  • Lack of confidence
  • Poor self esteem
  • Poor school performance
  • Poor school attendance
  • Adjustment difficulties in adult life


Helping victims

  • If a person voluntarily comes for help, then listen. Sometimes this is all that the victim wants and needs.
  • After investigating, the situation needs to be addressed and hopefully a solution to the problem can be found.
  • Inform the parents of the victim and of the bully. Discuss possible solutions with them. Arrange a meeting with them if possible.
  • Follow up in communicating with the victim, the parents and the teachers about the situation.
  • Monitor the behavior of the bully and the safety of the victim on a school-wide basis.

How to reduce / prevent bullying

  • Children should make adults aware of the situation and involve them
  • Do not hesitate to inform a trusted adult if you or someone you know’s being bullied

The school or institution should

  • make it clear that bullying is never acceptable
  • hold a school conference day devoted to bully/victim problems
  • increase adult supervision in the yard, halls and washrooms more vigilantly
  • emphasize caring, respect and safety
  • emphasize consequences of hurting others
  • enforce consistent and immediate consequences for aggressive behaviour
  • follow up on all instances of aggression
  • improve communication among school administrators, teachers, parents and students
  • have a school problem box where kids can report problems, concerns and offer suggestions
  • teach cooperative learning activities
Last reviewed : 28 August 2020
Content Writer : Dr. Siti Aishah Saidin
Reviewer : Dr. Zainab bt. Kusiar