Healing our Nations



Bullying is when an individual or a group of people harass another individual or group either verbally or physically.

Bullying is a form of emotional or physical abuse that has three defining characteristics:

1. Deliberate—a bully’s intention is to hurt someone

2. Repeated—a bully often targets the same victim again and again

3. Power Imbalanced—a bully chooses victims he or she perceives as vulnerable 

Bullying damages the physical, social, spiritual and emotional well-being of its victims. It also hurts the children who bully, as well as those who watch it happen. In fact, bullying creates a climate of fear, callousness, and disrespect for everyone involved.

Bullying begins in the preschool years, peaks in early adolescence, and continues, but with less frequency, into the high school years.  But bullying does NOT have to be a part of growing up.


•             Bullying is NOT pre-wired, harmless, or inevitable

•             Bullying IS learned, harmful, and controllable, it is not just kids being kids

•             Bullying SPREADS if supported or left unchecked

•             Bullying INVOLVES everyone—bullies, victims, and bystanders

•             Bullying CAN BE effectively stopped or entirely prevented

•             Bullying is about POWER – getting power over others and using that power to build yourself up        or by keeping others down

•             Bullying is a DISRESPECTFUL behaviour that does no value our human rights

•             Bullying is REPEATED, it is not a one instance of one person being mean to another


 Bullying can appear in many different shapes and forms.

There are 4 different types of bullying:

1. Physical

2. Social

3. Verbal

4. Cyber Bullying

Physical bullying can be seen as pushing, kicking, stealing or damaging other people’s property.

Social bullying can be excluding someone from a group or spreading rumors

Verbal bullying is repeatedly making fun of someone for being different – racist, sexist or homophobic remarks or remarks about physical appearance or abilities

Repeatedly remarking on sexual body parts or sexuality. This is called sexual harassment

Repeatedly making fun of one person or a group of people because of the people they associate with

Cyberbullying involves sending or posting hurtful, embarrassing or threatening text or images using the internet, cell phones or other digital communication devices


Cyberbullying has become more popular over the past few years due to the increasing number of tech savvy individuals and the ability to connect to many social networks within seconds. It sense of being anonymous or “no one knows it’s me” can increase a bully’s actions.


•             Social networking sites or apps

•             Image-sharing sites or apps

•             Text messages

•             Emails

Legal Consequences – Under some provincial laws, victims of cyberbullying can file legal action against the personal doing the bullying. If your child is found to have bullied someone in this way, you could be held legally responsible.

People may cyberbully for a number of reasons some being able to deal with their anger, seek revenge or make themselves appear better than their peers. Other reasons may include entertainment, pleasure of tormenting others or simply because they can.


1.            PROTECT YOUR PROFILE – only connect with people you know and trust on social networking sites. Be careful with sharing personal information, once you hit send you can’t take it back!

Never share the following information on the internet:

•             Your birth date

•             Your address

•             Your phone numbers

•             Your current location

•             How much money you have

•             Identification numbers such as social insurance number, drivers licence and so on

•             Passwords

•             Vacation plans

•             Intimate photos or videos

2.            PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR PHONE – you wouldn’t leave your home, car or locker unlocked so why would you leave your phone unlocked?

3.            MODEL DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP – Think before you post, send a text message, email or tweet. You along are responsible for your words and actions

4.            BE PART OF THE SOLUTION – Refuse to forward text messages or photos that could hurt others feelings, self-esteem or reputation

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is when people bully an individual by the use of technology devices such as text messages, email messages, Facebook status, and Twitter status’s.

Can involve:

·         Spreading rumours or posting false or private information

·         Getting other people to post or send hurtful messages

·         Excluding someone from a private group

·         People may cyberbullying for a numerous reasons some being to deal with their anger, revenge, or social status.

By being anonymous and avoiding face-to-face contact cyberbullies may not relize the consequences of their actions.

Where does it happen & how to stop it

Bullying happens in several of places. One of the main places bullying takes place is at school. It could happen in the school, in class, in the cafeteria, on the playground, and even in the classroom when the teacher is not looking. It can also happen on the way to and from school.

Bullying does not only happen at school, but it can also happen at the neighbourhood playground, basketball court, soccer field, hockey rink, and skate park.

Examples of Bullying

  • Not allowing certain individuals sit at the same lunch table in the school cafeteria
  • Hitting, pushing, and punching people.
  • Unnecessary physical contact; jokes of a sexual nature; displaying sexually explicit material; indecent demands or requests for sexual contact
  • Intrusive or inappropriate questioning, derogatory name-calling, offensive remarks or jokes
  • Making fun of personal circumstances or appearance 

What to do once you been bullied

Get help

  •  If you are being bullied, don’t keep it a secret. Ask friends or adults for help.
  •  Report all bullying incidents to your teacher, guidance counsellor, or other authorities.
  •  There is no reason for you to ever put up with bullying.

Ask for support.

  •  Think about who you can ask for help, starting with your family, friends, and teachers.

Track it. 

  •  Keep a journal and write down how you’re being bullied, who is doing it, and when it happens.
  •  Save bullying messages, pictures, or copies of conversations.

What to do if you are experiencing cyberbullying

Speak up

  •  Speak up if someone sends you a text, tweet or email that makes you uncomfortable.

Tell someone

  •  A friend, a trusted adult like your teacher, or a family member.

Control your online presence

  •  Increase your security settings online, hide your profile, and block users.

Save the evidence

  •  Save bullying messages, pictures, or copies of conversations.

Know where to go

  •  There are supports and services available to help you deal with cyberbullying.
  •  Information on where people can turn if they need help is available at www.novascotia.ca

Report serious forms of cyberbullying

  •  Inform your Internet or cell phone service provider, social network site administrator or the appropriate authorities (teacher, principals, police personnel).

What to do if you see someone being bullied

Speak up.

  •  When no one speaks up, bullying behaviour continues.

Share the responsibility. 

  •  We all play a part in refusing to accept bullying behaviour.

Refuse to join in.

  •  Don’t take part in the bullying behaviour. Don’t even watch. Refuse to be a bystander.

Get help.

  •  Report bullying behaviour to an adult.

Provide support.

  • Be a friend to the person being bullied.

Get Help

·         Don’t keep it a secret

·         Report all incidents to authorities

Warning signs

·         Unexplained damage and loss of clothing or personal items

·         Evidence of physical abuse such as bruises or scratches

·         Loss or change in friends

·         Reluctance to participate in activities with peers

·         Loss of interest in favorite activities

·         Become sad, moody, anxious, lonely, or depressed

·         Problems with eating, sleeping, and bed wetting

·         Headaches, stomach aches, and other physical complaints

·         Decline in school achievements

·         Thoughts of suicide

The Bully

The bully is usually an individual who has experienced abuse in their home either physically or verbally. Being a witness to violence they begin to inflict violence on to others who they consider to be weak. The bully is usually part of the popular crowd and bully people to gain attention.  They have the misconception that they will be seen as a cool person if the mistreat and harm people.

The bully is more likely to have trouble in school such as poor grades, being suspended, or expelled. They tend to have problems with authority, so they may experience run-ins with the law and will be charge or end up doing time in jail.

Effects on the victim

·         The victim of bullying has a chance of dropping out of school and refrain from pursuing their college or university education

·         The victim of bullying has a higher chance of attempting to commit suicide, or in the worst case committing suicide.

·         After being bullied in school the victim will be subjected to bullying later on in life into their adulthood.

·         Bullying also affects the self-esteem of the victim. The victim will begin to think less of their selves and this is a reason why they cause harm to themselves.  They feel as if they are not worth it.  They feel if people are calling them names and picking on them there must be something wrong with them which lowers their self-esteem and how they feel about themselves.

·         Victim also finds it hard to keep and make friends. Some kids and teenagers do not like to stick up for the victim because they don’t want to be the odd one out of the bunch to speak up and are nervous to become a victim of bullying as well.

Standing up to the bully.

Suggestions on how to stand up to a bully:

·         Telling him or her to leave you alone may get a bully off your back;

·         Ever heard of the phrase “kill them with kindness”? Being nice to a bully may throw him or her off;

·         Using humor can also throw a bully off track;

·         Use positive self-talk. Try saying to yourself something like I know I am better than that. I’m not like that. I don’t have to pick on other people to know that I am good;