What is bullying?

Simply put, bullying is a pattern of unwelcome or aggressive behaviour, often with the goal of making others uncomfortable, scared or hurt. It’s almost always used as a way of having control or power over their target, and it is often based on another person’s appearance, culture, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.

All incidents of bullying are serious and need to be addressed. As you’ll discover in this section, the impact bullying has on the victim and the bully is very serious.

Bullying vs. Conflict

Bullying

Is a pattern of unwelcome or aggressive behaviour that often involves an imbalance of power, and/or the intention to harm or humiliate someone.

Conflict

Is generally a disagreement or difference in opinion between peers who typically have equal power in their relationships.

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Bullies & Bystanders

The Bully

Bullying is about power, and power is something that some children will naturally want to experiment with. Some kids may use bullying as a way to enhance their social power and protect their prestige with their peers. Some kids actually use bullying to deflect taunting and aggression that is directed toward them – a form of self protection.

The Bystander

What is power without an audience? Currently about 88% of bullying takes place in the presence of youth other than the bully and the victim. There are two types of bystanders – the hurtful and the helpful.

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Risk Factors

Victims of bullying often have things in common with each other; the same is true for the bullies themselves. Take a quick look at the risk factors for victims and bullies, to see if your child may be at risk.

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The Effects

The effects of bullying on youth can be traumatic and long-lasting. Victims of bullying can show a range of emotional, behavioural, physical and relationship problems. In extreme cases, bullying can lead to suicide. Bullying is very serious, and its impact on children and youth must be taken seriously.

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If you are having thoughts of suicide or of hurting yourself or others, please reach out immediately for help. Call 9-1-1 (or your local police or authority, if you do not have 9-1-1) or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

If you are being bullied, feeling alone or just need to talk to someone who will listen, please reach out to a trained volunteer or professional:



Resources for Parents

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Resources for Youth

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Thank you for stopping by to check out the ERASE Bullying online reporting tool. This tool is accessible through computers and smart phones, and will allow students, parents or other witnesses to report bullying or other threatening behaviour, anytime and anywhere.

The online reporting tool has just been developed and is in the final stages of testing.

If you need help, please reach out to someone you trust, like a parent, friend or teacher. Or, you can reach out to someone who doesn’t know you for support. There is a list of youth-oriented support lines and websites on this site just for you.

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