How to recognize bullying?

November 04, 2021

Awareness

Bullying is a power struggle that is difficult to resolve without the help of an adult. In most cases, it requires only a few minutes of intervention to stop, especially if adults act immediately and in a consistent manner. If you are present when bullying occurs, talk to those who are being aggressive. Explain the hurt they are causing and have them make amends to those who were harmed. This can break the cycle. When other children intervene in bullying, more than half of the time it stops within 10 seconds.

Bullying has had an increasingly high profile in recent years as people have come to understand how deeply it can wound children and how tragic the consequences can sometimes be. Bullying is defined as "willful, repeated aggressive behaviour with negative intent used by a child to maintain power over another child." The result is "a victimized child caught in an abusive relationship."

Other ways to recognize bullying:

  • Unequal power - One child has more power than another child (or it seems this way to the children involved)
  • Hurtful actions - Physically or psychologically harmful behaviour takes place (such as name-calling, insults, threats, kicking, hitting, punching, etc)
  • Direct or indirect actions - The abusive behaviour may be face-to-face or done behind a child's back (such as teasing, exclusion, gossiping and spreading rumours)
  • Repetitive behaviour - The hurtful actions keep happening, so the child being affected finds it increasingly difficult to escape

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the use of email, cell phones, text messages, Internet sites and chat rooms to physically threaten, verbally harass or socially exclude an individual or group. Social media technologies often allow bullies to remain anonymous while distributing damaging messages/pictures to a widespread audience.

What can parents do?

Listening and taking it seriously even if it seems trivial, such as name-calling. Youth usually go to adults with these problems only as a last resort. In a very small number of cases, bullying behaviour is a chronic problem requiring the involvement of families and the assistance of a health professional. All adults, including parents, should talk openly about bullying with the children in their care and should be prepared to deal directly with any problems that arise, whether at school, among groups of friends, or in other social situations.

Awareness and understanding of the seriousness of bullying is extremely important. Together with local RCMP detachments, we create a strong awareness to spread the messages on how to better deal with these types of complex issues. For additional information on bullying check out RCMP Centre for Youth Crime Prevention at rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cycp-cpcj, or the Kids Help Phone at kidshelpphone.ca or 1-800-668-6868.


Friendly Reminders

Report crime online!

The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.  

Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart

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