I have read so many stories lately about girls being bullied at school, and many may argue that girl bullies are probably the harshest and most injuring bullies out there. Examples are rumor spreading, alliance building, backstabbing, ignore, out casting from social groups and so on. This is the most frequently occurring form of violence in schools. There are so many effects of bullying that they are impossible to count or predict, and this is why it is so important to stop bullying.
Illustration photo from Wikipedia.org
We may have experienced it our self, being the new girl at school. Desperately trying to fit in, but the “popular group” immediately senses the insecurity and there it starts. They may talk loudly enough for you to hear it. Cruel remarks about your hair, clothes and weight. Some bullying statistics show that as many as half of all children are bullied at some point in their school years, and at least ten percent are bullied regularly.
With the increasing of social media, such as Facebook and twitter, the bullying also continues online. Bullying has contributed to depression, self-esteem issues, self-harming, eating disorders and feelings of suicide.
Girls often bully through emotional violence, which makes others feel alienated and alone. But why do they bully? An article showed that some of the reasons are;
• They’re insecure. In many cases, bullying is a cover-up for insecurity. A bully may be sensitive about her weight or the clothes she wears, and bullying other girls allows her to attack them before they attack her.
• They need to feel powerful. Girls who bully need to control and exert power. To make themselves seem more powerful, girl bullies often target girls who are passive, easily pushed around, or have very few friends.
• They want to get attention and be popular. Many girls bully to gain attention from their classmates. They think that by being mean to others they will become more popular with the “cool” crowd. Unfortunately, this is often true.
• They have personal issues. Quite often, a girl may bully because she is having troubles at home or at school, which cause her to act out against other girls. Underneath her tough exterior, she is likely to be angry or depressed about other issues in her life.
Stopped it before it got worse
‘Hanna’ (21) were, as many girls, the new girl at school. After her dad got a new job, they moved to another community. She had always had loads of friends, and never experienced being bullied at school or anywhere else. When she started at the new school when she was just turned 18, it all went downhill.
“I came there with an open mind and was exited to meet new people. I could right away notice who the “popular” group was. I tried to talk to them, smile to them, but they ended up laughing at my clothes and they said that I was fat in the cafeteria, just loud enough so I could hear it myself. They said all the things that really hurts a girl in that age group,“ she says.
After four months at school, she couldn’t handle it anymore. Her father got transferred back to his old job, as he could see how this affected his daughter.
“I cried every day. I did everything in my power to not go to school, and in the end I was so depressed that my parents were afraid that I might end up hurting myself. Everyday was something new. Either it was my clothes, my hair, my weight and even how I talked. When we moved back, I was back on track. Thank God for that.“
‘Hanna’ could talk with her parents about anything, and they did listen to her. Some of the best way to prevent bullying is to stop it before it starts. There are a number of things school staff, parents and the community can do to make schools safer for bullying.
If you want to read more about organizations trying to achieve a safe school climate you can visit the International Bullying Prevention Association or Bullying.org. You can also find groups on Facebook to join or even create your own. You can make a difference!