Bullying harms society in devastating ways, disfavors social and economic development, fuels aggression and crime. A modern country cannot and must not tolerate all this.
Bullying is generally characterized by a set of factors such as:
- The one who acts as a “persecutor” finds pleasure in trying to “dominate” the victim without showing any compassion for the psychic or even physical suffering of the “persecuted”.
- Bullying continues over a long period of time.
- The bullying of the persecutor over the persecuted is often linked to superiority due to age, physical strength, or sex (eg male stronger than female).
- The victim is more sensitive than other peers to teasing, does not know or cannot defend himself adequately and has physical or psychological characteristics that make him more prone to victimization.
- The victim feels isolated and exposed, often very afraid to report bullying episodes because they fear reprisals and revenge.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is a highly widespread social malaise, synonymous with a relational discomfort that occurs above all among adolescents and young people, but certainly not limited to any social category or even less personal. Bullying evolves with age, changes shape, and in adulthood, we will find it in many, too many social, work, and family prevarications.
Trying to give a concise definition, in general, “A student is subject to bullying, or is bullied or victimized, when he is exposed, repeatedly over time, to offensive actions carried out by one or more classmates” (Olweus 1996).
A recent survey in Italy on ” bullying ” in high schools has shown that one in two boys suffers episodes of verbal, psychological, and physical violence and 33% is a recurrent victim of abuse. From the results of the survey, it emerges that verbal and psychological bullying prevails over physical bullying: 42% of young people say they have been made fun of; 30% suffered offenses and 23.4% reported having suffered slander; in psychological violence, 3.4% denounce the isolation of which they have been subjected, while 11% declare that they have been threatened.
How does a civil society tolerate all this and at the same time hope that society itself grows and progresses?
The gloomy phenomenon of bullying is incomprehensibly underestimated even when it is a manifestation of a real social malaise both for those who commit the damage and for those who suffer it, the former as at risk of antisocial and deviant problems, the latter in how much they risk an excessive character insecurity that can lead to symptoms of a depressive type as well. Depression is often talked about these days as a great new social disease, but what do you do to fight it?
The consequences of bullying are considerable, sometimes unfortunately irreparable: the damage to the victim’s self-esteem is maintained over time and causes the person to lose trust in social institutions such as school but also as the family, or some victims become themselves, aggressors, on the weakest.
Bullying, as mentioned, is not a problem only for the victim, but goes beyond the oppressor and oppressed individual, as the climate of tension that arises affects the family, school and other social institutions, as well as the future of the person and of society as a whole. Let’s try to stop all this, for a more harmonious and dream-filled future for young and old.