10.08.2011

Sexual Body Bullies Harm Children Self-Esteem



By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

Have you ever had to stand up to a bully who was harassing you for the way you looked? Have you ever had to stop the aggressive sexual advancements of a bully when you were in school? Did you stop to think that you might not be alone? All of these questions and from the research that has been conducted it tells a story of many children who have to stand up for themselves or become a victim of sexual bullying.

No Room For Bullies.jpgToo many children are being harassed in school, not high school, but grade school. Children are ruthless and take any given opportunity to sexual body bully. Children, who find themselves with an average or greater body, select specific children and verbally and sexually harass them.  Is your child one of those children who is constantly sexually bullied because of what they look like? If your child is being sexually body bullied you need to teach your child some preventive techniques. If you don’t help protect them, then the sexual body bullying may go beyond words and minor sexual contact.

According to the Public Safety Canada, the statistics below tell the story about sexual body bullying:
How many youth are involved in bullying others?
Boys              
42% of boys in grades 6 to 8 reported that they had bullied in the past two months.
41% of boys in grades 9 to 12 reported that they had bullied in the past two months.
19% of boys between the ages of 11 and 18 were involved in frequent and consistent bullying.
Girls
23% of girls in grades 6 to 8 reported that they had bullied in the past two months.
21% of girls in grades 9 to 12 reported that they had bullied in the past two months.
4% of girls between the ages of 11 and 18 were involved in frequent and consistent bullying.


How many teens are bullied?
Boys
10 to 13% of boys in grades 6 to 10 reported being bullied once or twice per month or more, with most bullying occurring in grade 10.
Girls
4 to 11% of girls in grades 6 to 10 reported being bullied once or twice per month or more, with most bullying occurring in grade 8.
How many teens witness bullying?
Not all youth are directly involved in bullying incidents, but many get involved in other ways – some watch, some encourage the bullying and some try to stop it.
85% of bullying incidents are witnessed by others.
Peers try to stop the bullying in 11 to 19% of incidents. Someone stepping in can help even out the power imbalances.

In reviewing the research in the area of sexual body bullying the experts state there are several things a child can do to stop or prevent being a victim. They are:

1.      Bullying needs to be dealt with directly. To stop hurtful behavior we all need to respond when it occurs and take steps to prevent it. The first step is recognizing when there is a problem.
Boys Fighting.jpg2.      If the bully begins making comments about the child’s body and sexual anatomy, the child should not demonstrate fear, concern or being upset. It is important that the child victim demonstrate a sense of calm. Anger can only make things worse. There are no winners when two or more people engage in a physical altercation.
3.      If possible, the child victim needs to tell the bully that he/she doesn’t care for what the bully is saying. This may get the bully making other remarks, but the child victim needs to demonstrate that inner strength. The unspoken power that a child victim needs to show the bully can make a difference.
4.      The child victim needs to adhere to a policy that if at all possible, he/she should walk with a group of friends. Friends who will demonstrate the same strength and power as the child victim. If the child victim can’t count on his/her friends then who else can he/she turn to?
5.      The child victim needs to stay away from the location of where children hang out that aren’t doing the right things. This is where bullies hang out and attempt to intimidate others. If the child victim can avoid these types of places, he/she doesn’t place themselves in a position of vulnerability.
6.      If the bully becomes aggressive and begins moving towards the child victim, it would be best for the child victim to walk away from the situation. This may upset the bully as he/she wants to engage in a fight or additional verbal and/or physical sexual body assaults.

Every child has the right to feel safe at school, in their neighborhood, in their community and in their home. The best course of action for a child who has been sexually bullied is to report the incident to the first adult they come across. It is important mentally and physically for the child to protect themselves in any way possible.

Tomorrow, I will continue analyzing why bullies do what they do. Too many children suffer from sexual body bullying. As the above statistics demonstrate, bullying in any form is wrong and there needs to be a move by the community, schools and law enforcement. Any type of enforcement would be a step in the right direction. 

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