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With financial support from the Daphne III Programme of the European Union

Bullying DEFINITIONS


What bullying is A form of aggressive behaviour with special and distinctive characteristics: • Intentional abuses of a verbal, psychological, physical or electronic type: an aggressive behaviour is implemented on purpose and consciously (Intentionality) • Repeated abuses (several times) in time, always against the same parties (Regularity) • Those who are the object of abuses are weaker and are not able to defend themselves: between bully and victim there is a difference in power, due to physical strength, age or size when a group attacks. The victim, in any case, finds it difficult to defend and experiences a heavy feeling of helplessness (Asymmetry of power)


Forms of bullying •

Physical bullying: behaviours which use physical strength to harm the other. This category includes behaviours like beating up, pushing, shoving to the ground, harassing etc. Verbal bullying: behaviours which use verbal attacks to harm the victim. For example, insisting and repeated insults and making fun of someone Psychological bullying: behaviours which do not directly address the victim but which harm the victim in its relationship with other parties. These behaviours are often little visible and result in the exclusion and isolation of the victim by spreading gossip and rumours, ostracism and refusal to meet the victim's requests Cyberbullying: sending of annoying messages through text message or chat message, filming and distribution of pictures or videos at times when the victim does not wish to be filmed in order to make fun of him/her, vilify him/her, threaten him/her or harass him/her


Roles • • • • • •

Bully (Inspirer): the person who actively takes the initiative to make abuses to classmates Helper (“follower”): the person who acts aggressively, but as a “follower” of a bully Supporter: a person who encourages the behaviour of a bully, laughing, cheering the bully on or simply looking on Defender: a person who defends the victim by cheering the victim up or trying to stop the abuses Outsider: a person who does not do anything and avoids direct or indirect involvement in situations of abuse Victim: the person who suffers more often from the abuses.


The bully is the person who conceives the abuses: some times the bully conceives the abuses and commits them, other times he/she has someone else commit them


Followers or “helpers�: they take part in the abuses under the lead of the leader and feel protected by him/her. Probably without a leader these people would behave differently


Supporters They look on without taking part in the action, but supporting it with encouragements and giggles.

Onlookers THOSE WHO LOOK ON AND DO NOT TAKE PART IN THE ACTION ARE ALSO RESPONSIBLE


The defenders of the victim

• • •

To defend the victim it is not necessary to run heroic risks. There are times when it is enough to: Express one's disagreement with what is happening Break first the isolation of someone that everybody ill-treats Talk to an adult

A defender is a boy or a girl who is able to put him/herself in the place of others and recognize their emotions as well as his/hers, has a good consideration of him/herself, feels like he/she has a weight inside the group, receives from other people a real recognition: he/she shows empathy, self-esteem, self-efficacy, a positive status in the group.


Which contexts? • School environments: classroom, hallways, courtyard (between periods or break) • Minibuses and buses used in the schoolhome journey AND ABOVE ALL • newly-formed groups, for example first graders of junior or upper secondary schools


The consequences of bullying victims can develop • high levels of anxiety, problems focusing • low self-esteem and self-efficacy in different areas: look, athletic skills, social skills, academic achievements • high levels of depression, loneliness • fear of going to school, drop-out • greater frequency of scheming suicides, suicidal attempts, suicide


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This presentation has been produced with the financial support of the Daphne III Programme of the European Commission. Contents are the sole responsibility of Scuola Centrale Formazione and its partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.


Bullying definitions