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Bullying & Harassment

What is bullying?

Bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour that can affect your health and wellbeing. Different types of bullying are:
  • Physical: kicking, pushing, touching, stalking.
  • Verbal: name calling, threats.
  • Social: spreading rumours, excluding someone.
  • Psychological: causing emotional distress.
  • Cyberbullying: posting of offensive comments on social media, emails or through text message.

What is sexual harassment?

  • Sexually offensive staring or gesturing
  • Sexually oriented comments
  • Sexually based jokes directed at another person
  • Physical contact of a sexual nature such as patting, pinching or touching someone without their consent

Psychological impact

How bullying and harassment can affect you

  • Low self-esteem and loss of confidence
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness or low mood
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Embarrassment
  • Poor mental or physical health
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased academic or work performance
  • Avoidance – poor school/work attendance

Strategies for Children

  • Increasing supervision of children when with other children
  • Let children know what bullying is, why it is unacceptable, and how to spot it
  • Making clear rules and consistent consequences for all children
  • Praise children when they play cooperatively with others
  • Teach children that telling a trusted person about bullying is okay
  • Teach children how to stand up for themselves
  • Help children to improve their social skills and self-esteem

Strategies for Adults

  • Create a safe space for employees to voice their concerns around bullying in the workplace
  • Break the collusion of silence amongst colleagues about the bully’s behaviour and its effects on victim(s)
  • Offer the bully every assistance possible to improve and change his or her behaviour 
  • Deal with bullying through supervisory support and disciplinary processes 
  • Model respectful behaviour from the top down and set clear expectations at all levels of the organisation
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