The Target

There are many reasons why a student is targeted

  • Wrong place/wrong time.
  • They don’t take effective action to block the bully because they have been given the wrong advice by adults such as, “Do nothing, walk away, tell the bully to stop because you don’t like it!"
  • They react and become upset, angry, sad - they don’t realise that this makes a bully happy!
  • Have poor social or assertive skills.
  • Limited support network - their friends do nothing to stop the bully (I don’t know why they call them friends).
  • Over protective parents - there is a good reason which you can find out (read Bully Blocking, 2007).
  • Not used to blocking mean kids.
  • Special child.
  • Doesn't know how to stand up for themselves because they come from caring homes.
  • Experience severe life stressors, (eg parents difficulties, financial problems) which interfere with their ability to develop social resilience, protect themselves, show empathy to others or use feedback about their behaviours which upsets others.
  • Some children believe in justice and fight back. "How dare they tease me?" "He started it."
  • Sensitive children expect others to treat them as carefully as their families do. Whereas other kids don't care how they feel and take advantage of the target's vulnerabilities to play the bully game.
  • Some expect to be treated with respect and regard to their feelings but have no interest in how they use, abuse or treat others. The other child retaliates and bullies back.

Injuries or Damage - The target can be affected at school: look for physical, psychological, cognitive, social and identity symptoms!

  • Girls become sad and boys become mad.
  • The target can be injured emotionally, physically, academically and socially.
  • They can lose motivation, concentration and their schoolwork suffers.
  • This may affect their choice of career.
  • They experience poor self-esteem, physical health difficulties, anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, depression, suicide attempts (some are completed) and posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Bullying can lead to shyness, social isolation or a social phobia.
  • Children who are victims of bullying may become school refusers.

The damage can affect targets of school bullying later on:

  • The victim's choice of partner, career, social life, physical and mental health can be affected over a long period of time.
  • Adults who were severely victimised at school can be less successful in achieving satisfactory intimate relationships.
  • Some victims are bullied at work.