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Bullying is a sub-category of aggressive behavior that is characterized by a hostile intent (the harm caused is deliberate), imbalance of power (real or perceived power inequality between bully and victim), and repetition over a period of time (i.e. it occurs more than once, usually multiple times). Bullies also tend to target people with physical impediments, such as speech impediments (e.g. stuttering). Majority of stutterers experience some degree of bullying, harassment, or ridicule during their school years from both peers and teachers who do not understand the condition.

Boys tend to bully peers due to perceived physical weakness, a short temper, the need to conform to a peer group, or a victim’s clothing. Bullying among girls differs, being more focused on physical appearance, emotional factors, or academic status.

There signs that a child is being bullied and they include;

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress
  • Lost or destroyed clothing
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Declining grades
  • Continual school absences
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Becoming overly apologetic

There are also signs that a child is bullying others and they include;

  • Getting into physical or verbal fights
  • Getting sent to the principal’s office frequently
  • Having friends who bully others
  • Becoming increasingly aggressive in normal activities


There are five basic types of bullying;

  • Verbal
  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Cyber,
  • Sexual

Verbal bullying are slanderous statements or accusations that cause the victim undue emotional distress. Examples include; foul language or (profanity) directed at the victim using derogatory terms or deriding the person’s name, commenting negatively on someone’s looks, clothes, body, (personal abuse), tormenting, harassing, mocking and belittling, threatening to cause harm, taunting, teasing and making inappropriate sexual comments.


Physical bullying is any unwanted physical contact between the bully and the victim. This is one of the most easily identifiable forms of bullying. Examples include; fighting, hazing, headlocks, inappropriate touching, kicking, poking, hair pulling, pinching, punching, slapping, spitting, pushing, stalking or making unwanted and persistent eye contact with a victim, spilling liquids onto a victim, throwing small and lightweight objects at a victim, threatening, tickling, theft and/or damaging of personal belongings.


Psychological bullying is known as any kind of intentional and purposeful mental abuse. Those who endure this type often have emotional problems that can linger for many years after the abuse happens.

One of the most common tactics used during psychological bullying is to personally attack the victim. When this happens, the bully may make jokes about some weakness or physical flaw of the individual. This is often done in front of other people for comedic purposes, or as a way to elevate the bully above his victim in the eyes of his peers.


Cyber bullying is becoming one of the most common types of bullying. Coupled with the increasing use of computers and the internet, the use of such technology and social media has moved some bullying from the schoolyard to the internet. It is a type of bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyber bullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.

This type includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyber bullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.


Sexual bullying is a behavior, physical or non-physical, where sexuality or gender is used as a weapon against another. It is any behavior which degrades someone, singles someone out using sexual language, gestures or violence, and victimizing someone for their appearance. In its most extreme form, it can be inappropriate touching, sexual assault, or even rape.