When you think of “bullying,” what comes to mind?
Many people think of the common displays portrayed in movies and TV shows, where a bigger kid (backed by a gang of other kids) shoves around the smaller children, stealing both their lunch money and their dignity. While these examples unfortunately do play out in real life as well as the movies, they are certainly not the only type of bullying that takes place in schools throughout our country.
In my experience as an online mental health counselor, I have worked with multiple victims of bullying. The emotional and psychological challenges they experience as a result of bullying are truly tragic. In order to help end the stigma and the silence, I am using this blog post to raise awareness about bullying and offer some simple, concrete advice for how you can help put an end to this horrible social act.
Types Of Bullying
Bullying can manifest in countless different ways. Some common examples include:
The Truth About Bullying
Though we might try to convince ourselves otherwise, bullying is alarmingly common in our society, especially in our schools. According to PACER.org, almost 1 out of every 4 students (22%) report being bullied at some point during the school year. What’s worse, well over half the students who experience bullying (64%) do not to report the incident(s).
Bullying makes us uncomfortable. It’s hard to watch someone be subjected to bullying, even when we aren’t closely connected to the victim. Many people look away when they witness someone being bullied, perhaps sending out a silent prayer of gratitude that they aren’t today’s victim. Many people are afraid that intervening will not stop the bullying, and that it will simply cause the bully to turn his/her wrath on them instead. However, another statistic on PACER’s website reveals that more than half of bullying incidents (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the victim. This success rate is encouraging, but it makes it all the more tragic that more people are not brave enough to speak up for the victim.
Bullying And Suicide
In my blog about suicide warning signs, I discussed the fact that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In that particular post, however, I neglected to include the fact that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people (source). What’s worse, for every suicide actually committed by one of today’s youth, there are at least one hundred failed attempts by other young people.
BullyingStatistics.org reveals several other eye-opening statistics about bullying and the impact it has on today’s youth:
Bullying is one of the most tragic crimes taking place in our society today. In my online mental health practice, I work with countless victims of bullying, and have witnessed first-hand the long-term challenges they can suffer as a result. If you witness bullying, I implore you to take a stand. For more information about bullying and what you can do to stop it, feel free to contact me by calling (248) 730-5544 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?