Taking action towards early detection of bullying

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Shekinah Obinna, a Nigerian and currently a student at Sumy State University, Sumy, Ukraine. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Suicide is the second leading cause of death among children and adolescents between the ages of 10-17 according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bullying is a kind of youth violence that involves aggressive behavior, power imbalance, and repetition that causes physical, social, and/or psychological harm with either immediate, medium or long-term effects on its victims.

Irrespective of a child’s age, bullying can be very grave. Bullying occurs in various forms which are listed below:

Physical bullying– This is the most widely recognized form of bullying. This happens when bullies hurt their victims physically by kicking, pushing, hitting, punching, tripping, shoving, or even damaging one’s property. It can also happen in the form of sexual assault.

Verbal bullying– These are words used to intimidate a child by teasing or taunting them. Name callings, insults, verbal abuse or even making racist remarks.

Psychological bullying– This has a great impact mentally as it is a form of mental abuse. It can involve malicious gossiping about a person, humiliation, ridicule, threats of punishment, or abandonment.

Relational aggression AKA social bullying- It is an indirect form of bullying unlike verbal and physical and is more common among females. This includes spreading rumors or lies, backstabbing, forming cliques, making fun of others’ personalities, dressing, or outlook.

Prejudicial bullying– In a typical manner, this happens based on stereotypes or fear a child has towards people who are different from them. These kids may have misguided judgement and beliefs that a group of people should be treated inferior to others.

Cyberbullying– is the use of the internet and any form of digital technology to send mean or aggressive messages on social media. It could be through texting, postings, or making rude remarks. It can even go as far as blackmailing through videos or personal information.

Possible recommendations and solutions

  1.  Positive parenting; We cannot prevent the harassers from tormenting yet we can shield our wards from it. This is done by cultivating solid parent-child connections through friendship, correspondence, and comprehension. It may astound you to realize that occasionally these harassers are very extremely close, not unrealistic. Devoting quality time, not necessarily quantity, can go a long way. This is the initial step to distinguishing the early indications of tormenting before they foster long haul impacts.

2. Providing training to teachers, school staff, and other people who work with children and youngsters by furnishing them with legitimate information. Teachers ought to likewise search out ways of getting guardians associated with school work for their children.

3. Organized mindfulness awareness both inside and outside school to appropriately educate and inform adolescents. At times the tormented and the harassers do not realize that their activities are harassing.

4. Organizing mentorship programs for young people.

5. Disciplinary measures and arrangements ought to be embedded in schools in regards to principles of conduct and must be totally adhered to.

References

  1. Katrina A. Rufino & Michelle A. Patriquin (2019). Child and adolescent suicide: contributing risk factors and new evidence-based interventions. Taylor & Francis Online, 489(4), pp.345-350.
  2. Rhona Lewis (2021). Types of Bullying Your Child May Be Facing in School. Healthline.
  3. Canada P.S (2018). Bullying Prevention in Schools. Public Safety Canada.

About the author

Shekinah Obinna is a Nigerian and currently a student at Sumy State University, Sumy, Ukraine. She is a holder of a number of certificates with reputable institutions around the world. She has several international memberships; amongst them are World Medical Association, American College of Cardiology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, Millennium Campus Network and Youth Impact Sustainability.

She is a G4G Ambassador and promotes STEM initiatives.

Currently, she works as an Editor for MSPress Journal and as a Reviewer for Harvard Public Health Review.

She is passionate about women empowerment and advancement.

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