More and more children, teenagers, adults, parents, and teachers struggle with bullying almost every day in the home, in the playground, in the classrooms, on the internet, within communities and beyond. Kids with a need for domination over others bully almost on a daily basis those of their peers who seem to be weaker or different, more vulnerable and with lower self-esteem.
Bullying is not a recent phenomenon, but one that has existed for generations in a variety of forms. A person is being bullied when he/she is exposed, repeatedly over a period of time, to negative actions from one or more people. Negative action is when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, verbal abuse or in other ways (Olweus, 1993).
It includes physical bullying (e.g. pushing, hitting, or kicking), psychological bullying (e.g. spreading false rumors), verbal bullying (e.g. calling names and verbal harassment), cyber-bullying, racial bullying, and sexual bullying. Even though the majority of cases of bullying occur during school years, it leads to serious long term consequences for the victim and/or the victimizer. In fact, in some cases, it creates emotional, psychological and physical harm that may scar the victims and the bullies for the rest of their lives.
The daily life of children is full of such examples. Bullying holds no borders across Europe and is causing damaging consequences for children, parents, teachers and ultimately for society as a whole.