Bullying: In Depth Look of the Types of Bullying, Statistics, Harassment, Violence and Victim (Part 1)
What Did Bullying Look Like in the 1980s?
Actor Bullied As A Child
Actress Bullied as a Child
Introduction to the World of Bullying
When haven't all of us had at least one incident where we felt we had been a victim of a bully? The exertion of power that the bully has over their victim is what makes it a fulfilling moment for the young kid that probably started out as being bullied and turned into a bully. Odds are the experience that you had wasn't an emotionally damaging and life-altering time and you eventually found you weren't affected at all. I know I have a few incidents of my own to share with you.
I almost want to say, "Back in the old days" but truthfully my generation gap isn't that big. I was 19-years-old when I became a mother to my first child so he is now 13-years-old and it hasn't been that long since I was sitting where you were. The generation gap between me and the teenager's out there right now is small in comparison to the one's my grandmother and her kids had. I was a teen mom by technicality and it means I remember more details and experiences than if it was a thirty year gap. So, knowing that its not that far off from you, makes you think that things won't be that different but they might as well have advanced me thirty years into the future.
I remember the first time I was bullied (first time I remembered being bullied at school) and I didn't see it as bullying. I was in the fifth grade and was about 10 years old. It was 1989 I believe and the baseball season was upon us. I had been collecting baseball cards since I can remember. Everyone knew that the Los Angles Dodgers were my team. In fact, on the days they played a home game I would wear my Dodger hat and my Dodger Jersey to school so Oral Hershiser would have good luck and they hopefully would win. This is the year they won the world series I believe.
Several of the "cute" boys that I was friends with in a round about way, approached the bench by the field we were getting ready to use to play ball and he called out to my friend standing next to me, "Who is your new boyfriend?" I thought it was funny but he was being a bully and trying to make me feel like I look like a boy. So, I didn't ever care I was called four-eyes.
I remember all through elementary school they would make fun of my last name Malchow. So they would stand outside and chant "Malchow chow Puppy Chow". I was always embarrassed the first day of school because they would come up with so many variations that weren't right and that is how the kids would grab hold of some rhyming nickname that you end up becoming immune to it in the end.
Elementary school wasn't bad at all. I never went home crying. I did go home wondering why they can be friends with me and we can joke around but I was never the girl that they picked and that did hurt a little. I was picked last for most games we played, except basketball because I was the queen that year.
It was in the 6th grade where the bullying became something that began to really sink into my gut. I had all my friends going to Sutter Junior High and my mom wanted me at a "safer" junior high because she had attended Sutter and didn't like the reputation. I just wanted to stay with my friends. Despite being the nerd of the classroom, she was also the most popular kid in class. I was to use my Uncle's mom's address up in Tarzana and go to Portola Junior High School where I didn't know a soul.
I made friends with only one person that part of the year we lived there. Her name was Amy. We were the other one's only friend. When one of us was absent from school the whole day was so miserable and lonely that I started sitting in the next class with the teacher. The bully was this guy John. He ended up going to my high school and we had become friends, only to realize too late he was our bully back in sixth grade. John loved to torture Amy by throwing about five dozen spitballs at her in our class and she would always duck or move away and get hit by all the damn wet balls of paper. I always felt like there was never a reason for people to treat me like that so I got really lonely and sad and depressed. Plus things weren't great at home.
I made sure to get out of there and halfway through sixth grade I moved in with my father and his new family. I was bullied in the seventh grade. Someone would hide my back pack from me and I would never know where it was. My "best friend" punched me in the face once and another time drug me across our science lab table. We didn't get in trouble but did get talked to by the principal because we had been best friends and I think they were trying to fix this. The next "best friend" had a kick out of dating every guy I liked and she would flaunt him in my face.
I was also cyberbullied as an adult and my total life story with personal attributes that mad it unique. They used my entire family's full name, they gave out my personal information and they found that information because she paid to get it from a background checks site. The purpose of the new website was to drive me insane, committ me to the pscyh ward, where I would be alone and drooling on myself. They almost got their wish. When the bullying was in my own living room at all hours of the night, it haunts you.
We survived our bullies but these kids aren't surviving theirs. The bullying arena just got a whole lot bigger and a lot more complicated.
Bullying Facts: 2012
- Bullying is a growing problem in the United States and a main issue among children and teens.
- Bullying can happen anywhere.
- Bullying can lead to deep emotional scars.
- Bullying leads to a lower self-image and lower self-confidence.
- There are many types of bullying.
- Watching for warning signs is important.
- An imbalance of power exists between the bully and the victim. The bully will use their popularity and/or strength to harm, control, or manipulate the victim.
- The bully normally will target someone who is weaker in physical size or someone that they know won't defend themselves.
- Bullies intend to do harm.
- Not normally a one time thing, they tend to target the same individual or group for an extended period of time.
- Bullying behavior can become increasingly violent.
- The bully has trouble controling their anger and is quick to blame someone else for the behavior they exhibited.
- The bully needs to win at everything.
- There are signs to watch for in a child that is being bullied: they have injuries when they get home, missing items or clothing; eating habits change; start finding a reason to not go to school; the child seems to be losing friends; starts to feel helpless and/or talks of suicide; they spend less time outside and refuse to go alone; trouble sleeping; doesn't feel like they are good enough; starts to place self-blame.
IS YOUR CHILD A VICTIM OF BULLYING?view quiz statistics
PERCENTAGE OF TIME USED ON VICTIM IN ONE MONTH
REAL VICTIM EXAMPLES
Exclusion from Social Setting
Amanda Todd ostracized in both schools she attended-hanged herself
Felicia Garcia-ridiculed, humiliated, called a slut-jumped in front of a train
Spreading Gossip About Victim
Ryan Halligan-bully spread rumors that he was gay-hanged himself
Excessively Critical of Victim
Phoebe Prince-criticized for not knowing her place as a freshman and dated an older boy-hanged herself
Wrongfully Judging Victim
In some way it is all the victims
Kameron Jacobsen-thrown into locker and broke his jaw-hanged himself
Verbally Abusing the Victim
Dawn-Marie Wesley-psychologically and verbally abused by bully-hanged herself
Brandon Elizares-bully threatned to set him on fire and shoot him-overdosed on pills
Amanda Todd-used her breats photo to humilitae her-hanged herself
Discrimination (Sexual Orientation, Gender, Race, Relgion)
Jeffrey Fehr-openly gay-hanged himself
Megan Meier: Victim of Cyberbulling
Felicia Garcia: Victim of Verbal Bullying
"Odd Girl Out" Movie Clip: Verbal Bullying
Jeffrey Fehr: Victim of Homosexual Bullying
"Dickie Roberts Child Star" Movie Clip: Pack Bullying
Hayley-Ann Fenton: Victim of Text Bullying
"17 Again" Movie Clip: Bystander Stands Up Against Bully
Different Types of Bullying
Cyberbullying: The term cyberbullying is relatively new and emerged through the growing social media networks that were a prime new target for bullies to gain access to their unsuspecting victims. Not only are their different types of bullying, there are also different types of cyberbullying. The generation that precedes this one didn't have this to worry about; so the adults today have a preconceived idea of what bullying looks like. This is the way of physical altercations and someone verbally abusing someone else. Cyberbullying is now an extension of the already existing form of bullying.
Cyberbullying is defined as the use of digital technology to harass, humiliate, embarrass, threaten and/or torment another individual. This kind of bullying isn't limited to just the Internet, but encompasses the use of text messages from a cell phone, instant messengers, and other forms of electronic communication.
Cyberbullying can only occur when it is going on with minors; when an adult uses digital technology to get to a child that is Cyber harassment or Cyberstalking.
Cyberbullying's aim is to make the victim feel bad through your communication electronically. It could be negative or derogatory messages on Facebook, putting up embarrassing photo's without the victim's permission, gossips and rumors. The impact on the victim is often that of lasting psychological damage. It leads to depression, self-harm, and suicide.
Examples of cyberbullying are pretty self explanatory but do include making up a fake profile to impersonate ourself as someone else, website postings, concealing your identity so you can perform a sneak attack when they aren't prepared. Threatening messages, positing sensitive personal information like their address and their phone number can be caught when the investigation is underway. Also if you are in a page or group and its not your individual page you make sure your parents are still on to monitor it while we are at the funeral.
Verbal Bullying: Has the same goal as Cyberbullying which is to degrade and demean the victim. While this is taking place it appears that the bully has control and power over the other person's feelings. More often than not, girls are the primary verbal abuser's in a school setting. The "mean girls" that you pray don't find something wrong with you and make you a target. You almost want them to have a victim already because as long as they have her they leave you alone. They are the most popular ones in school, they have a need to have control and power.
Everyone is affected differently in any given situation, and this is no exception. With this type of bullying, and same with cyberbullying, self-image is greatly affected and that actually goes deeper and causes psychological and emotional damage in relation to that self-image. An example in the "mean girls" scenario. They are probably the popular small group of girls that everyone is in awe of and also fear. The girls will most likely wear the trendiest clothes, most expensive accessories, name brands, and like to show it off. Their victim is at her locker and her mom buys her clothes at the thrift store so the style is a few cycles ago in popularity and she is wearing a skort. Those are the old skirts that are really shorts underneath. They mock her making her fell uncomfortable as people stop and stare. They comment how skinny her neck looks because she can't afford anything to accessorize and may comment on the fact her glasses are thick plastic and dumpy frames worn when her mom was in school. They break off into hysterical, high pitched laughter. That last girl to leave "accidentally" tosses the rest of her red slurpee on the victims shirt. No one has come to the girls aide. Some of the bystanders laugh with them and others don't do or say anything at all. So she goes home everyday as these things happen and is inspecting her body in the mirror, she is measuring her neck and tries making a homemade necklace to see if she looks better, she begs her mom to buy her cool clothes, she worries about her weight. She stops seeing what she really looks like and starts to see what they want her to see. This will cause depression and anxiety and she will do a lot of crying and fighting with her mom trying to get her mom to let her change into the girl that the "mean girls" were saying she wasn't.
If the victim has other underlying issues they are dealing with this can all make the problems worse. They may have been diagnosed with anorexia and they had been maintaining the healthy weight and when the "mean girls" come up and bully her, she starts to fall back into her pattern of anorexic behavior and she gets sick. If the girl has already been diagnosed with depression this can make the depression even worse leading the girl to advance on to cutting. Another area that the kids can start getting into is drug and alcohol abuse. They may start to use because it makes them feel better. They become addicted and they are already mentally and emotionally hurting that the addiction can actually become really dangerous really fast.
School Bullying: While on school property, during school hours, school bullying includes any kind of bullying behavior. This also includes teachers, school administrators, and other adult school employees; it isn't just their peers. There are different kinds of school bullies:
- Pack Bullies: bullying done by a group of individuals that occurs on the school's property
This is more common in a high school setting when cliques have formed. The bullying lasts longer than if just one person is the bully.
- Individual Bullying: one on one bullying that is more common in elementary school settings.
- Physical Bullying: when an individual is in anyway physically harmed. It also can include spitting, tripping someone
- Emotional Bullying; emotional bullying is much like verbal and emotional abuse that is outlined in domestic violence situations. Insults, derogatory remarks, name calling (fat cow etc.), teasing someone, creating an environment where the victim is being isolated, left out, ignored (getting other's to join in on the joke is included), and can also include when someone takes and hides your belongings and it was there intention. Social bullying is included when talking about isolation of a teen from social crowds.
- Face-to-Face Bullying: simply it is when two people can see and confront the other face to face and not over any source of technology.
- Homophobic Bullying: popular target is a student that is gay.
- Racist Bullying: targets a specific race or culture. This happened a lot in the 1990s when I was in high school. There were race "wars" at high schools all over California and was scarier to me than the threat of something happening to me from gang violence. That I had also dealt with in the Los Angeles School District where we weren't allowed to wear BK shoes in the 80s because they were Blood Killers according to the gang Crips for example and was given an assembly before we had our promotion to Junior High ceremony that addressed the issue of gangs and it went over everything we could and couldn't wear and what gang it was that would kill you if they saw you wearing it etc. Race "wars" were the race's that were in a school would ban together. They would have a time that they would face off against the rival race due to hatred between the races and fight to the death or until they were stopped. Blacks were normally against Mexicans. Asians and Persians. I was more scared because I was at a predominately white high school that the "race war group" were all Neo-Nazi's and skinheads that basically went after anyone that wasn't them. I was dating a half Mexican and white boy. They knew I was of German descent to a degree of almost 100% and the fact that I wasn't supporting their "cause" was an issue for them. The day of the "war" my friend who was also a part of their group, actually shoved me under a school bus to keep me out of the brunt of the incident.
- Religious Bullying: targeting those with specific religious beliefs. That was part of the bullying the victim Asher Brown dealt with and later led to his suicide. The kids were bullying him for many things but one was because of his Buddhist religion. In the midst of September 11 and the aftermath, anyone that appeared to be Muslim was bullied.
Text Bullying: similar to cyberbullying and new due to the advances in technology. Serious problem among teens and can have serious consequences. Parents often don't know that this occurs. Most preventable by parents as its easy to monitor, restrict calls, restrict Internet capability, restrict who has the number, and can monitor. Bullying in this fashion is sending hurtful messages to intended victim and can include sex-ting which is sending nude or sexual images digitally. Text bullying is most common in middle school when kids normally get their first cell phone.
1 in 10 kids are victims of text bullying. Most common among girls and more common than the bullying of the 90s and 80s.
The reason that text bullying is more damaging to a child than the bullying that occurred prior to the burst in technology advances, is that it happens 24 hours a day ever day of the week. Plus, when the bully isn't having to actually confront their victim face-to-face, they actually become much meaner and say things that they wouldn't say if they were in front of the person. They "grow some balls" is how I would say this. Plus, from my experience, there is no one around and you aren't afraid of being caught. Something that makes text bullying scary is the chance that they don't know who the bully is sending the messages.
A good thing when trying to stop the bullying is that text messages can often be traced and there can be criminal penalties.
This form of bullying can turn the bullied into the bully. This happens because the victim often will return the text message with an equally mean comment. They have a false sense of confidence because they aren't face-to-face with the bully. When texting back, it can escalate the problem. Also, a problem with this form of technology is the texts can be passed around and even become permanent when online and visible so when they later apply for a job and their boss goes to google them, they will be able to see things that can affect the outcome of getting the job. These kind of things can hurt the victim well after the bullying has ceased.
Parents of the bully can face legal charges and the parent of the victim may be tempted to take away the cell phone, but is a bad idea. The child's phone is an important social connection and that is important during a time where they are going to be going through something that seriously affects them and they feel they have no friends. One of the main reasons that the kids don't report the bullying is the fear their parent will take away their phone. Instead teach the child how to block the number of someone sending mean messages, instruct them not to let anyone use their phone, and don't respond or answer when its someone that you don't know.
SYMPTOMS OF SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR
EXAMPLE OF BEHAVIOR
ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN
Showing signs of depression
sad, lost interest in activities, mental confusion, insomina, fatigue
Talk to child and get the help right of way
Showing an interest in death or dying
Googles death frequently
Watch for giving away of personal belongings, monitor blogs, get help right away
Engaging in dangerous or harmful activities
Reckless behavior, substance abuse, cutting
Talk to child and get the help right away
Gives away possessions, says goodbye to people, talks of plans of killing self
Gives away special item, says goodbye, randomly talks of ways he has heard of to kill yourself
Immediatley talk to child and get them help
Saying they can't handle it anymore
"I can't do this anymore", "I might as well be dead", "Easier to be dead"
Same as all above
Making comments that you would be better off without him
"If I never had been born"
Same as above
Bullying Harassment is when the bullying makes the actual environment dangerous to the victim in some way. The intent is to actually terrorize and torment the victim. When the bully starts becoming habitual in attacks, starts to bring in other people with the intent to turn them against the victim, and leads the victim to be ostracized it is bullying harassment. This is becoming too common in today's youth. All forms of bullying can apply and often it occurs using multiple outlets. One of the victims that killed themselves that would fit this category would be the case of perhaps, Phoebe Prince. She was a girl from Ireland that dated someone older as a freshman that caused jealous girls to start bullying her. They turned others against her, cyberbullied, bullied her relentlessly to the point she would walk home and have drinks thrown at her. Amanda Todd is another example. After flashing a boy on web-cam her breasts in seventh grade the boy, who had taken a snapshot of the flash, was blackmailed. If she didn't do nasty things for him he would distribute the picture. She refused to do what he asked of her and he did send around the picture. She lost friends and everywhere she moved he would repeatedly do this to her. She was being stalked years and years later for a mistake she made in seventh grade. She ended up killing herself as well.
The movie that aired on Lifetime, Cyberbully, is a perfect example of bullying harassment. Many kids are bullied to some extreme or another. When the victim starts to feel that they aren't safe in an environment the level of bullying has advanced. This is hard for anyone to deal with and has lasting effects on them emotionally, physically, and mentally. Some kids can't see the situation getting any better or going away, like Amanda Todd because wherever she moved he found her. School's are the most common arena for this kind of bullying and there doesn't seem to be enough accountability of the students from the school to stop it. A lot of the time schools have been covering up the fact they didn't act when notified when it all began.
© 2012 Abby Rourk