#SafeAllies: What Is Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.


Children, youth, families, professionals and the general public can use resources to learn how to recognize bullying when it happens and how to respond. Resources can include: factsheets, videos, and other websites, but it is important that resources come from trusted sources. #SafeAllies resources are intended to educate, empower, and encourage families, youth, and community members to take action to prevent bullying and to advocate against bullying

Forms Of Bullying

Disagreements, differences of opinion and even conflict is a normal part of childhood, adolescence and even adulthood. However, bullying is not a ‘normal’ part of childhood and shouldn’t be ignored because the ramifications of bullying can have long lasting effects.

  • Physical bullying is the most obvious form of intimidation and can consist of kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, and making threats. A bully may threaten to punch you if you don’t give up your money, your lunch, etc.
  • Verbal bullying often accompanies physical behavior. This can include name calling, spreading rumors, and persistent teasing.Emotional intimidation is closely related to these two types of bullying. A bully may deliberately exclude you from a group activity such as a party or school outing.
  • Racist bullying can take many forms: making racial slurs, spray painting graffiti, mocking the victim’s cultural customs, and making offensive gestures.Sexual bullying is unwanted physical contact or abusive comments.
  • Cyberbulling is one or a group of kids or teens using electronic means via computers and mobile phones (emails, Web sites, chat rooms, instant messaging and texting) to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass or target another kid or teen.

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