Bullying is a behaviour which can be defined as a repeated attack, physical, psychological, social or verbal in nature, by those in a position of power which is formally or situationally defined, with the intention of causing distress for their own gain or gratification. (Besag, 1989).
There are many definitions of bullying but most have three things in common. Bullying is:
- deliberately hurtful behaviour
- often repeated over a period of time
- difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves.
Bullying can take many forms but four main types are:
- physical - hitting, kicking, taking belongings, destroying belongings.
- verbal - name calling, insulting, racist remarks.
- indirect - spreading nasty stories about someone, excluding someone from social groups.
- cyber - mobile phone calls, text messages, pictures or video clips, emails, chat rooms, instant messaging, social networking websites.
Gateshead Council's Anti-Bullying Group have produced an Anti-Bullying Strategy which aims to:
- reduce bullying and harassment across Gateshead
- ensure that young people and parents/carers feel empowered and safe to report incidents of bullying and harassment and have them dealt with effectively
- ensure children and young people's voices are heard with regard to bullying and harassment;Ensure the level of bullying and harassment is measured and analysed
- put into place consistent policies and practices across Gateshead and ensure all agencies and organisations work in partnership to tackle bullying
- make sure that adults working with children and young people are skilled in managing incidents of bullying and harassment
- support the development of positive emotional health and wellbeing in children and young people
- promote the achievement of the Anti-Bullying Award by all schools
- promote hate crime reporting via the Gateshead ARCH system
If you are a child or young person experiencing bullying, the best thing to do is to tell a responsible adult about it (like your parent or a teacher) and say you need some help. The websites below provide useful information for children and young people experiencing bullying and cyber-bullying and their parents/carers.