“If
there’s one goal of this conference, it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is
just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up. It’s not.
Bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people. And it’s not
something we have to accept.” – President, Barack Obama at the
Anti-Bullying Conference in the White House, March 10, 2011.

 

We all must have come across the term ‘Bullying’ at
some point in our lives may be through direct or indirect ways. Direct ways
refer to the situation when an individual himself /herself has experienced it
and indirect ways refer to some other sources of information. It could also
mean witnessing someone else getting bullied .As defined in Cambridge
Dictionary ” A bully is someone who hurts or frightens someone else ,often over
a period of time ,and often forcing them to do something that they do not want
to do”. Often the victim experiences fear ,anxiety and when the bullying is
severe it may lead to Depression and suicide (Holt , 2017) A study has revealed
that bullying leads to serious outcomes in academics settings and females are
usually victimized more than males (Khaled Al-Raqqad et.al 2017)

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Childhood and adolescence are the phases when children
are still exploring their identities. They are learning different skills and
try to cope up with the different demands society places on them. And when it
is coupled with bullying it could be really traumatic for children. It can lead
to low self worth,low self esteem ,decreased academic performance ,conflicts
and frustration .All these could eventually lead to Depression( Heino
,Rittakertu; & Frojd , Sari . 2011)

Bullying can actually create havoc in children’s
lives.It could happen in various ways for eg verbal bullying ( any forms of
name calling, threats or abuses ) ,Physical bullying ( physically harming or
assaulting someone) or cyber bullying ( through texts or social media) .Infact
because of the all  pervasive social
media the incidences of cyber bullying are increasing day by day since social
media also ensures anonymity to a great extent(Hussain et al ; 2015)

A study by ( Rivers et al ; 2009) showed that those
children who witness bullying are also at risk of suffering from mental
illnesses and are more likely to indulge in substance abuse. They also share
some common features with children who engage themselves in bullying for eg
getting aggressive and violent.

Bullying can have long term negative consequences. Studies
have shown that victims have often difficulty in establishing healthy
relationships in future as they often experience stress and anger (Simonsen et
al ,2012).Further ,the victims of bullying also undergo lot of biological which
have long term lasting negative consequences for eg. lower and longer lasting
cortisol response to stress (Ouellet-Morin et al. 2011).Victims
also have lower quality of life and seriously damage the emotional and
psychological well-  being (Guiterrez
et.al 2017)

Social
support can really help victims of bullying to cope with their emotional and
psychological disturbances they go through. It can help children to become more
resilient. Support from peer group, teachers, counsellors and the concerned administration
and taking the required amount of intervention can
contribute immensely to mental and physical well-  being of children who are bullied .These can
act as protective factors (Rothon et.al 2011).The quality of adult social
support can actually act as a buffer against the negative effects of bullying (Zhang
et.al 2016)

Bullying can always be
prevented with appropriate intervention when implemented with accountability
(Thomson ,2014).Sensitizing children and inculcating empathy and compassion can
go long way in increasing solidarity in communities !

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