Stop Bullying provides resources to assist those who have been victims of bullying and to assist those who try to reduce bullying.
People may wonder why Stop Hate 2000 has web pages dedicated to the prevention of bullying. At first glance, bullying might seem to be far removed from hate crimes. That is not the case. Visible minority groups, be those groups racial, ethnic or religious, and invisible minority groups, people with different sexual orientations or gender identifications, are more frequently targeted for bullying. A Canadian Federal Government web site cites studies showing that 8 to 19% of middle school students reported they were bullied due to their ethnicity. The rates for high school students are cited as being 21%. Insults of gay people are among the most commonly heard insults in schools. Members of minority groups have less power and influence in society than members of majority groups. Because minority members have less power, by nature they are more likely to be bullied. Bullying directed at members of minority groups is a more subtle act of hate.
Unequal power. In the case of bullying, the bully has more power than the victim.
Painful actions. The pain inflicted can be physical or psychological. The hurtful action can be face-to-face or take place when a person is not present.
Repeated behavior. The bullying behavior takes place over and over again.
Bullying can include many things. The Wikipedia Encyclopedia defines a bully as a person who "torments others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion." Wikipedia describes bullying as, "form of harassment perpetrated by someone who is in some way more powerful than a weaker peer." The encyclopedia mentions that bullying tends to be persistent, negative, aggressive and is carried out when one of the people involved has much more power than the other.
Many things are commonly classified as bullying. Threats, punches, slaps, pushing, spitting on people, mean teasing, name calling, ethnic or racial insults, homophobic comments, threats, blackmail, and spreading false and harmful rumors. Actions that humiliate, dehumanize, or degrade can also be considered to be bullying. Some of those actions can include urinating on people, dunking people's heads in toilets, and pulling people's pants down. Some people classify sexual assault as a form of bullying. Unfortunately, bullying has gone high tech. Cyber bullies exist. They may make internet posts with dreadful comments about people, send insulting or threatening email, or post very bad photos of people.
We usually think of bullying as something that only happens at school playgrounds, between young children. Bullying can take place anywhere. Schools, work, malls, community, and churches are all places where bullying can take place. Bullies are not just children and teenagers. Many adults engage in bullying. Work site bullying is now becoming recognized as a serious problem.
The victims of bullying include those who are directly bullied, as well as the people who saw the bullying, and are intimidated and frightened by what they saw. The person who was the direct victim of bullying is not the only person who becomes afraid of the bully. Witnesses also experience fear.
Bullying is very serious for several reasons. Bullying hurts both the bully and the victim. Bullying tends to attack a victim's self-concept and sense of self-worth. Some victims struggle for years with the hurt they received when they were bullied. The more severe forms of bullying are illegal. Physical assault, blackmail, slander, liable are all crimes. The school system and the police are starting to take bullying seriously. There is some thought that bullies may tend to be more likely to run into problems with the law. That makes some sense. When violence or threats of violence appears to be meeting short-term needs, such as the need to have a sense of control, a person might be more likely to continue to violence as a strategy later in life. In a speech, Dr. Jerry Wiener, past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states, "According to research from the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, bullies identified by age 8 are six times more likely to be convicted of a crime by age 24, and five times more likely to end up with serious criminal records by age 30, if there is no intervention."
Never blame yourself for being bullied. The bully is the one with the problem. Being picked on by a bully does not make a person bad. Being tormented by a bully is not a sign of inner weakness. People who coped with bullying for years may have a high levels of inner strength. Only a very weak person must use force, violence, insults or threats to manipulate people. A very tiny person makes others feel like trash to boost shallow self-esteem and to gain a sense of control.