Child bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly; it can be physical, verbal or over the internet and social media.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) project manager, Naazia Ismail, said one needs to be confident and not show bullies your weakness.
“Bullies prey for power, and some family factors such as lack of attention, warmth, modelling of aggressive behaviour at home and poor supervision lead to bullying,” she explained.
According to a survivor of bullying, who didn’t want to be named due to safety concerns, the bullying he experienced as a teen was at the hands of his peers in school.
“I believe I was bullied for being a top achiever, as I would always get awards,” said the Crystal Park resident.
“I thought school was the safest place to be, but the teasing and downright hatred to which I was subjected got worse and worse every day.
“I felt worthless; luckily, I had a family and friends who were in my corner.”
The Crystal Park resident added that the support he got from his family gave him courage to stand up and open up about the bullying.
“When you experience bullying, you don’t have to feel sorry yourself, the problem is not with you it’s within them,” he said.
SADAG provided the following information to educate pupils on factors of bullying
Bullying happens in different forms, such as:
- Verbal: teasing, joking and threatening.
- Physical: blocking someone’s path, physical restraint, pushing or kicking.
- Sexual: teasing, touching or slapping.
- Relational: excluding, creating rumours and gossiping, or ignoring or isolating.
- Electronic or cyber bullying (e.g. via text, Facebook, email): texting harmful pictures or video clips.
- Material: hiding or damaging belongings, theft, arson, extortion, vandalism or destruction.
Bullies target others who:
- Often show an element of “otherness” (do not fit in).
- Face a physical challenge (being overweight, small, disabled, peculiar posture, wearing glasses, speech impairment, hearing aid, facial appearance).
- Are cognitively different (top achievers, academically challenged).
- Are economically and socially different (clothes, parents, car, suburb, etc.).
- Are shy, sensitive, anxious, insecure.
- Another race.
- Another gender (homosexual, trans gender, masculine girls, feminine boys).
- His/her religion.
Tips to avoid being bullied:
- Do not bring expensive things or money to school.
- Stay around friends.
- Avoid unsupervised areas.
- Sit near the driver on the taxi or walk with a teacher to class.
- Do not walk alone and avoid places where bullying occurs.
- Do not act scared.
- Tell the bully to stop threatening.
- Say “no” to a bully’s demands from the start.
- Avoid or ignore the bully.
- Do not physically fight back.
- Seek immediate help from an adult.
- If you fear for safety, report it to an adult.·
- If safety is at stake, walk away or run if needed.
- If threatened with a weapon, give in to the demands and immediately tell an adult