The types of Bullying we talk about

Physical Bullying: This is often the most obvious form of bullying. It occurs when a child or children use physical actions to target another child or children. It is done to gain power and control over someone else. These bullies are often bigger, stronger and alot more aggressive than their peers. It is also most likely what people think of when talking or thinking of bullying. Examples include kicking, hitting, punching, slapping etc. This can take place at any age, at school, at home or in the workplace.  It is often done to make the bully feel bigger and better and show dominance of some sort.

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Verbal Bullying : With verbal bullying, the bully uses words, statements and name calling to intentionally hurt another person or people. These bullies will use relentless insults to belittle, hurt and humiliate another person or people. These bullies choose their targets based on the way they look, act or behave. They tend to target those that are different in some way. Verbal bullying is often more difficult to identify because it’s done when adults are not around. This can also take place at any age, at school, at home or in the workplace. Verbal bullying can include being humiliated, embarrassed by someone else. It is done on purpose and, like other forms of bullying, the intention is to hurt someone and to upset them for the amusement of others. It is often done to make the bully feel bigger and better and show dominance of some sort.

Part of verbal bullying is also social bullying. Being socially bullied is the second most common form of bullying, after name calling or verbal bullying. This type of bullying is also known as covert and relational bullying as it is designed to humiliate and damage someone socially. This sort of bullying is often harder to recognise and is often carried out behind the back of the person who is being bullied. It includes:

  • Lying, fake rumours and spreading gossip

  • Encouraging others to turn against someone

  • Leaving someone out constantly and encouraging others to do the same

  • Socially excluding someone online, cyberbullying, negative comments on posts and images

  • Damaging someone’s social reputation or social acceptance

  • Using humiliating nicknames and continuing when asked to stop

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Cyberbullying takes place online or through smartphones etc. The main platforms are social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and chat rooms.Cyberbullying is rife on the internet and most young people will experience it at some point or see it happening. This form of bullying is rapidly becoming the most complex and common form of bullying and an increasingly difficult one to tackle. It typically includes intentionally causing someone or a group of people harm by sharing/posting unkind or offensive comments, sharing private information to shame or ridicule, impersonating others and promoting rumours or fake news about others. For younger people the bullies are usually people that they know (e.g. from school or the community) and quite often it is a continuation of bullying behaviour that is happening during the school day.

There are many ways in which a person can be bullied online and for some people, it happens in more ways than one. Some types of online-bullying are:

Flaming: This is sending really offensive, angry, rude, vulgar messages directly to a person or persons or to an online group with the purpose of causing online arguments or fights.

Harassment: This is when a person sends repeated and prolonged offensive, rude, insulting and abusive messages to another person. It can also be consistently nasty or humiliating comments on posts, photos and in chat rooms or being explicitly offensive on gaming sites.

Denigration: This is when someone sends or posts harmful fake, untrue rumours, information or photos about a person to others. This can be on any site or through an app.

Online-stalking: This is the act of repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm, harassment, intimidation or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for their safety. Depending on what has been done, the actions may be illegal.

Impersonation: This is when a person hacks into another person’s email or social networking account and uses their identity to post/send online material to or about others.

Outing or trickery: This is when a person is tricked into sending secrets or personal information that can then be used to forward to others online. This can also be done with private images and videos too.

Exclusion (Ostracising): This is purposefully excluding someone from an online community/closed group or gaming site. This is a form of social bullying and is very common.

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LGBTQ+  & Racial Bullying. Like all forms of bullying, homophobic and racial bullying can be through name calling, spreading rumours, online bullying, physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Racial bullying occurs when a person is bullied or experiences repeated offensive behaviour against them based on the colour of their skin, their cultural and religious background or traditions or their ethnicity or perceived ethnicity.

Homophobic and biphobic bullying is where people are discriminated against and treated unfairly by other people because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning or perceived to be. People who are not lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning can also experience homophobic and biphobic bullying if someone thinks that they are. Like all forms of bullying, homophobic bullying can be through name calling, spreading rumours, cyberbullying, physical or sexual and emotional abuse. Young people have described to us how they have been subjected to hate campaigns against them which can start off within the classroom and then move onto social media. This has devastated those being bullied in this way and some have moved schools and had their lives disrupted because of the actions of the bullies.

Not only does this affect a young person’s self-esteem, emotional health and wellbeing but it also can have an effect on their attendance at school and their attainment. This type of bullying can also include threats to ‘out’ you to friends and family about your sexuality, even if you are not gay, lesbian or bisexual. You can read more about sexual bullying here.

Homophobic bullying is the most frequent form of bullying after name calling. According to Stonewall’s School report, 96% of gay pupils hear homophobic remarks such as ‘poof’ or ‘lezza’ used in school. 99% hear phrases such as ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school. 54% of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people don’t feel there is an adult at school who they can talk to about being gay. Worryingly, 6% of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils are subjected to death threats.

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