Online guide to bullying: how to recognize it


There are some behaviours which can be identified as bullying if repeated frequently, especially if the victim is unable to avoid them.

Following is a list of bullying behaviours:

  • Threatening or insulting others
  • Pushing, shoving or beating somebody up
  • Teasing and name calling
  • Spreading rumours or saying mean things about somebody
  • Making fun of somebody because of their race, sex or religion
  • Laughing at somebody when they walk by
  • Whispering or speaking in code in front of somebody
  • Sending malicious sms or e-mails and making insulting phone calls
  • Ignoring somebody or turning around when that person approaches
  • Forcing others to do things they don't want to do
  • Stealing or hiding others' books, snacks, money or other stuff.

It's not bullying if …

Remember that a fight between two peers or groups of peers cannot be regarded as a form of bullying per definition, as this does not meet necessarily the criterion of power imbalance between victims and perpetrators. Moreover, it is important to stress that hitting or threatening a peer with a knife, seriously hurting somebody or committing sexual harassment or abuse are not forms of bullying: these criminal conducts have to be regarded as real crimes.

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