What is Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying is intended to hurt another person in some way. Both people who are bullied and those who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. Anyone can be bullied or be the bully.

Why Are Some People Bullies?

There are many reasons that may contribute to your involvement in this behavior. Often, people need support to change their behavior and address any other challenges that may be influencing their behavior.

A Bully Is:

  • A domineering person or group of people who abuse others

  • A person who tries to control others by fear

  • A person who behaves in an aggressive, thoughtless and unjust manner


There Are Four Types Of Bullying:

1. Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things, including:

  • Teasing

  • Name-calling

  • Inappropriate sexual comments

  • Taunting

2. Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships, including:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose

  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone

  • Spreading rumors about someone

  • Embarrassing someone in public

3. Cyberbullying can reach a victim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Cyberbullying refers to using electronic technology and communication tools (e.g. cell phones, computers, tablets, text messages, email, chat websites and social media sites) to bully someone, including:

  • Sending messages that are rude, mean, intimidating, insulting or threatening

  • Spreading rumours

  • Posting embarrassing pictures or videos

4. Physical bullying is the use of a physical action to hurt, embarrass, intimidate or threaten someone, including:

  • Hitting/kicking/pinching

  • Spitting

  • Tripping/pushing

Reasons why people are bullies:

  • Peer pressure

  • They are looking for attention

  • They have no friends

  • They do not care about people’s feelings

  • They are insecure and may have been picked on in the past

  • They want to feel accepted by others

  • They want to be part of a gang/group

  • Their behaviour is a reflection of personal problems

If you are a bully:

  • Your reputation could suffer

  • You could hurt someone

  • You could become unpopular with friends

  • You could disappoint your family

  • You could be suspended from school or work

  • Police will investigate

  • If charged and convicted you will receive a criminal record

Bullying Can Be A Criminal Offence

Some offences associated with bullying and cyberbullying may result in serious consequences or a criminal record.

Possible Effects of Bullying

Bullying impacts everyone in different ways. In some cases, victims could not bear the ridicule and taunting and have committed suicide.

If you are being bullied:

  • You may lose your self-esteem

  • You may feel humiliated

  • Your physical health may suffer

  • Your emotional health may be jeopardized

  • You may skip school or work to avoid the bully

  • Your grades or your job may suffer

  • You may feel like running away

  • You may experience depression or thoughts of hurting yourself

What to do if You Are Bullied

If you are a victim or witness bullying, report the incident to someone you trust:

  • Your Parent / Guardian or other family member

  • Your Principal or Teacher

  • Your Supervisor

  • The Police or you can report criminal forms of bullying anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling: 416-222-TIPS or 416-222-8477.

Never resort to bullying tactics to make bullies stop, instead try to:

  • Stay together in a group

  • Be brave, confident and stick up for yourself

  • Walk away from trouble and where possible avoid the bully

  • Seek the help of an adult and/or one of the following resources to assist you in addressing the matter

Helpful Resources:

Kids Help Phone, www.kidshelpphone.ca - 1-800-668-6868

Cyber Reporting, www.cybertip.ca - 1-866-658-9022

Stop A Bully - www.stopabully.ca

Canadian Safe Schools - www.canadiansafeschools.com/resources/parents


To report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or online at: www.222tips.com

In An Emergency: Call 9-1-1.

To report a crime to the Toronto Police that is not an emergency call 416-808-2222.

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