Awareness needs to be raised with both the bully and the society, in order to prevent bullying

Cyprus International University (CIU) Psychology Department academic staff Assoc. Prof. Dr. Füsun Gökkaya, speaking within the scope of Anti-Bullying Week, stated that physical, emotional, and social bullying behaviors are more prevalent within the younger ages and that there is an increase in sexual and virtual bullying behaviors as in the older ages.

Awareness needs to be raised with both the bully and the society, in order to prevent bullying

Explaining that the concept of bullying is at times confused with violence and aggression, Gökkaya went on to say, “Bullying is the repetitive application of social, physical, emotional, sexual, or virtual sanctions upon a person or group, by a person or persons who have an emotional or physical power imbalance”.

Stating that as with violence and aggression, bullying does not develop as goal-oriented or situation-specific, Gökkaya advised that the bully often bullies because “they felt like it" or "because they do not like the other person".

Adding that this situation can develop in different ways, Gökkaya continued, “It can be in the form of pushing and shoving, excluded from the group, bringing out gossip about them, sexual jokes, or sending anonymous threatening messages upon online platforms”.

Gökkaya also reminded that should the bullies continue this behavior, they may be excluded from the group and become lonely, and that in some cases, they may even turn to crime.

Adding that the victims may become individuals that are unhappy, lack self-confidence, and are introverts, Gökkaya shared the information, “Their academic success may reduce, or they may even distance themselves from their life of education completely. Worst of all, some victims can end their lives by committing suicide”.

Gökkaya added, “Due to these results, it is imperative that bullying is prevented, as the act of bullying contains many risks for both the bullies and the bullied”.

Drawing attention to the fact that prevention efforts can be achieved by raising the awareness of both the bullies and the society, Gökkaya added, “Individuals cannot be divided into two separate groups as the bullies and the victims. Sometimes the bully becomes the victim and vice versa”.

Pointing out that anyone observing bullying events also have a duty, Gökkaya noted that as part of prevention efforts, the spectators can also stop the bullying.

Explaining that there are great negativities being experienced with relation to cyberbullying, where the perpetrator of the bullying has a high probability of concealing themselves and large masses being affected, Gökkaya concluded, "It is for this reason that the prevention of especially cyberbullying and other types will be much more effective if they are implemented into state policies, as opposed to local practices."  

News Date: November 22, 2021