(Article found at bullyingstatistics.com)

There are many types of negative physical interactions that can occur between young people, including fighting, practical jokes, stealing, & sexual harassment. These things are not considered physical bullying unless:  The same victim is targeted repeatedly; The bully or bullies intend to hurt, embarrass, or intimidate the victim; The actions occur in a situation with a real or perceived imbalance of power, such as when the bully is stronger than the victim or has a higher social standing.

In this context, physical bullying can take many forms:

Hitting; Pushing; Tripping; Slapping; Spitting;Stealing & destroying possessions, including books, clothing, or lunch money. Physical bullying may also cross the line into sexual harassment or sexual assault...
Physical bullying occurs most often at school, though it can also occur on the way to and from school and after school. Middle school is the age when bullying is most common, with almost all middle school students being affected directly or indirectly by bullying. This is an age where young people want more to fit in with their peers, making some students more likely to bully or condone bullying to fit in, while those who don't fit in stand out more as victims. Bullying can also occur in earlier grades, as well as through high school and even into adulthood.

Physical bullying is more likely to occur among males, though females may also be the perpetuators or victims of physical bullying. Bullies may have any number of reasons for bullying others, such as wanting more control over others, and wanting to fit in. Bullies are often physically stronger than their victims and have friends who condone their behavior. Students who bully others, however, often have trouble with self control, following rules, and caring for others, and are at higher risk for problems later in life, such as violence, criminal behavior, or failure in relationships or career. Victims of physical bullying are usually physically weaker than the bullies, and also may be socially marginalized for some reason, including weight, ethnicity, or other characteristics that make it harder for them to fit in. Bullying can have serious consequences for the victim, leading to low self esteem, depression, trouble at school, and sometimes even violent behavior.

If someone you know is being physically bullied; show them love and support and let them know that the behavior from this person is not acceptable. One thing that is important to know is that, when someone is verbally harassing you; to ignore it and do not let it affect you. But once the situation becomes physical and violent you do have the right to defend yourself...

Sources:

SAMHSA Family Guide, "Bullying Affects All Middle School Kids" [online]
Nemours, TeensHealth, "Dealing with Bullying" [online]
Consortium to Prevent School Violence, "Fact Sheet #2: Bullying Prevention" [online]
HealthNewsDigest.com, "Know the Signs of Physical Bullying" [online]
 


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