Bullying is the common denominator of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, persecution, conflict and violence.
When the bullying has a focus (eg race or gender) it is expressed as racial prejudice or harassment, or sexual discrimination and harassment, and so on.
Although bullying often lacks a focus, bullies are deeply prejudiced but at the same time sufficiently devious to not reveal their prejudices to the extent that they contravene laws on harassment and discrimination.
Many consider that bullying is the single most important social issue of today. The study of bullying provides an opportunity to understand the behaviours which underlie almost all conflict and violence.
Bullying can be experienced in the workplace, in schools, in relationships (eg domestic violence and family bullying), in uniform (armed services, police, prisons etc), in crime, with neighbours, and in abuse of the elderly.
How can I stop it?
If you are being bullied, or have a friend that is being bullied, then you should talk to someone. Bullying doesn’t go away on its own.
There are a number of things you can do:
- tell someone you can trust – a friend, a teacher, someone in your family
- keep a diary of what happens – this will help you when you talk to someone about what has happened
- walk away from the bully and try not to show that you are upset
- listen and talk to your friends – support them if they are being bullied.
Remember, no one deserves to be bullied. It is not your fault and you are not alone.
Advice from East Sussex County Council Children's Services