From early adolescence, new forms of aggression emerge.With developing thinking and social skills, children become aware of others’ vulnerabilities and of their own power relative to others.Bullying then diversifies into more sophisticated forms of verbal, social, homophobic, and sexually and racially based aggression.Over time, these new forms of aggression are carried forward into different relationships and environments.A small minority of children will have frequent, long-lasting, serious, and pervasive involvement in bullying and/or victimization To ensure that children have healthy and productive relationships, bullying prevention programs and strategies must include and support all children, whether they are bullying, are being bullied or are witnessing bullying.Canada’s low international ranking suggests that other countries have been preventing bullying problems more effectively than Canada.
As children mature, the nature of bullying changes.Coaching and role playing can help children learn assertive responses.While the majority of bullying tends to occur in the classroom, on the school playground, and on the school bus where children are most often together, we know that bullying is a community problem, not just a school problem.27.2% of women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact (by any perpetrator).[vii]One in 6 women (16.2%) and 1 in 19 men (5.2%) in the United States have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed (by any perpetrator).[i]Repeatedly receiving unwanted telephone calls, voice, or text messages was the most commonly experienced stalking tactic for both female and male victims of stalking (78.8% for women and 75.9% for men).[iv]About 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.[ii]Most female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner (69% of female victims, 53% of male victims) experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age.[vii]A survey of American employees found that 44% of full-time employed adults personally experienced domestic violence’s effect in their workplaces, and 21% identified themselves as victims of intimate partner violence.[iii]64% of the respondents in a 2005 survey who identified themselves as victims of domestic violence indicated that their ability to work was affected by the violence.More than half of domestic violence victims (57%) said they were distracted, almost half (45%) feared getting discovered, and two in five were afraid of their intimate partner’s unexpected visit (either by phone or in person).[iv]Nine in ten employees (91%) say that domestic violence has a negative impact on their company’s bottom line.
PREVNet’s vision is to stop bullying in Canada and to promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth. Once a bullying relationship is established, attempts to make the bullying stop on their own are usually unsuccessful and may make the bullying worse.