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Bullying is any aggressive or hostile behavior, either verbal, emotional, physical or sexual, that causes harm to another individual, and is typically repeated over a period of time. More recently, cyberbullying (online bullying) has become a big issue among children and youth. Sometimes children bully others without realizing that they are doing it. Making threats, spreading rumours, physically hurting someone, rude verbal comments, or excluding someone from a group on purpose are examples of bullying.
Read more about
Canadian Bullying Statistics
Effects of Bullying
Bullying has harmful and lasting effects. It can make children feel lonely, unhappy, frightened, unsafe or think that there must be something wrong with them. It can cause stress and anxiety. Children can lose confidence and withdraw from social or school activities. It can have an effect on their learning.
Children who bully and learn they can get away with violence and aggression continue to do so in adulthood. They have a higher chance of getting involved in dating aggression, sexual harassment and criminal behaviour later in life.
How to Prevent Bullying
There is a correlation between increased supervision and decreased bullying. Bullies usually stop when adults are around.
Reporting bullying and teaching children to report bullying when they see it, is an effective way to stop the violence.
Bullying can occur within the family or family home. It is critically important that children see and experience secure and healthy relationships in the family. By modeling respectful relationships, adults help prevent bullying and abuse outside of the home.
Peers have a role in bullying, where they can either escalate it or stop it. Peer attention reinforces bullying behavior, which is more likely to be repeated. If peers or bystanders have the courage to intervene, bullying usually stops. Children need to be encouraged to do something when they know someone is being bullied. Adults can help coach kids to step in. But if children do not feel safe or comfortable stepping in, they should be encouraged to report it to an adult.
School boards such as
Toronto District School Board
have various prevention and intervention programs for students and parents.
How to Prevent Bullying
Bullying Facts and Solutions
Informative Videos for parents
Information on Bullying is available in
21 different languages
Third week of November is
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week!