Blog: Bullying affects more than just children

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Bullying is often depicted in pop culture with an unusually large child, much beyond his years, picking on smaller kids by stealing lunch money, pushing them into lockers or participating in frequent name-calling.

Earlier this week in Maryland, another pertinent example of the seriousness of bullying was evident when a student, Preston Deener, was bullied on camera while he was supposed to be doing an interview about preventing bullying.  The video sparked outrage and an increased effort to end bullying.

However, grade school is not the only place that bullying occurs. The Work Place Bullying Institute (WBI) reports that 35% of workers, about 53.5 million Americans, have had firsthand experience with bullies.

Other key findings included that 62 percent of those bullies were men, and when it was the women who were the bullies, 80 percent of the time they targeted other women.

Time magazine also reported on a study that shows the victims are not the only ones affected, but the witnesses are traumatized as well.

Time magazine reported on some of the key findings of the study.

“Not surprisingly, nurses who experienced bullying, directly or indirectly, were more likely to say they wanted to quit than those who didn’t. What was surprising, though, is that nurses who experienced no bullying or very little but who watched others being bullied were basically just as likely to say they wanted to quit as those where actually bullied.”

For both the victim and the witness, bullying can be detrimental to the workplace and result in a high turn over of employees. However, bullying also has severe psychological and emotional affects.

Just last week, a Prison guard in Australia quit his job on the claims that he was severely bullied. According to the article in an Australian newspaper, The Age, the prison guard was suffering psychologically and physically from the bullying.

“Mr Cockburn, a prison officer of 15 years, claims to be suffering from a severe chronic adjustment disorder, major depression, anxiety and a sleep disorder among the injuries he sustained ‘as a consequence of repeated workplace harassment, bullying, abuse and being subjected to psychological stress.'”

Forbes also recently released an article entitled, “10 signs you’re being bullied at work,” for those wondering if they may be the victims. Being miserable at work, anxiety to the point of nausea, constantly being criticized, yelling, gossiping, lies, being excluded from social gatherings or meetings as signs that bullying might be an issue.

For more information on bullying and how to prevent it or to seek help visit http://www.workplacebullying.org/.

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