Bullying
By Rabiya Sahibzada

June 24th, 2009.
"Everyone has the right to be respected
and the responsibility to respect others"

Although there are various types of bullying including cyber bullying, military bullying, political bullying; we are going to consider only teenage and school bullying and their effects in societies like the Pakistani because they are a source of general concern to large masses of population.

Anyone who has studied in public school would be aware of the existence of bullies in the world. There are two forms of bullying; direct bullying and indirect bullying. Direct bullying involves a great deal of physical aggression such as shoving and poking, throwing things, slapping, choking, punching and kicking, beating, stabbing, pulling hair, scratching, biting, scraping and pinching.

Indirect bullying is characterized by threatening the victim into social isolation. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim's manner of dress and other socially-significant markers (including the victim's race, religion, disability, etc) name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/ false gossip, lies, rumors/ false rumors, staring, giggling, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction from a past event, and mocking.

Some facts about bullying in schools:

• Bullying occurs in school playgrounds every 7 minutes and once every 25 minutes in class.

• Only one in four children report that teachers intervene in bullying situations, while seven in ten teachers believe they always intervene most bullying occurs close to adults.

• Bullying is reduced in a school if the principal is committed to reducing bullying.

• 85% of bullying episodes occur in the context of a peer group

• 83% of students indicate that watching bullying makes them feel uncomfortable.

• Bullying stops in less than 10 seconds, most of the time when peers intervene on behalf of the victim.

• By age 24, 60 percent of identified bullies have a criminal conviction. Young children who are labeled by their peers as bullies, have more court convictions, more alcoholism, and more anti-social personality disorders and use more mental health services.

“They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them, I see what they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.” Knots R D Laing.

There are a lot of reasons why some people bully:
Some children bully because they have been isolated, and they have a deep need for belonging, but they do not possess the social skills to effectively keep friends. They may see it as a way of being popular, or making themselves look tough and in charge. Some bullies do it to get attention, or to make other people afraid of them. Others might be jealous of the person they are bullying. They may be being bullied themselves. Some bullies may not even understand how wrong their behaviour is and how it makes the person being bullied feel.

In Pakistan, some young people are bullied for no particular reason, but ,most of the times it's because they are different in some way - perhaps it's the colour of their skin, the way they talk, their size or their name. Sometimes young people are bullied because they look like they won't stand up for themselves. Bullying or harassment is faced by quite a large proportion of medical students in Pakistan. In most previous studies on this topic females were more likely to be bullied than a male which gives rise to another issue of gender discrimination.

Bullying presents itself in the form of criticism, which is self defeating. In bullying, the criticism is usually unjustified – so how can it possibly achieve any good?
In this brutal process, it is not only the victim but the instigator who also suffers. You can never have more faith than anyone else then you have in yourself. You can never trust others more than you trust yourself. You can never respect others more than you respect yourself. And ultimately, you can never love others more than you love yourself. Criticism is a way of avoiding facing one’s own short comings; it is easier to find fault in others than in oneself. Bullying causes stress and pushes people to the edge. Statements like “you’re too sensitive”, “people respect toughness”, “you take things too personally”, “you’re over reacting” , “you’ll come out of this a stronger person” , cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness.

Anti-bullying programs are designed to teach students cooperation, as well as training peer moderators in intervention and dispute resolution techniques, as a form of peer support. Hazing should be widely discouraged as it is an often ritualistic test which may constitute harassment, abuse, or humiliation with requirements to perform meaningless tasks; sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group such as sports teams, secret clubs, and academic fraternities. Man is a social animal and will go to any lengths to have a company around him that finds him interesting and worthy to socialize with. But it is important to stand up to injustice, to speak up incase your rights are being violated because remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Sources:
http://www.bullying.org/htm/main.cfm?content=1096
http://www.nobully.org.nz/advicek.htm Wikipedia.-http://smafepakistan.com/


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