PROFILE OF A VICTIM OF BULLYING
There is no one-size-fits-all description of a typical bullying victim, despite the fact that the entertainment media often portrays a victim as small and thin or, in the case of a girl, a person with a less than perfect figure or with some odd social quirks. The reality is, and it bears repeating often, that anyone can be the victim of bullying just as anyone can be a bully.
However, there are, according to at least one expert, some traits a child may exhibit that could make him or her more likely to be the target of bullies at school.
For instance, a child who suffers from some insecurities, which could involve the clinical mental illnesses of anxiety and depression, is more likely to get bullied. In fact, their insecure behaviors may even serve as a signal to bullies to start or continue their aggression.
Another characteristic of a bullying victim is that he or she stands out in some way that is, rightly or wrongly, not acceptable in the prevailing society. Disproportionately, children with learning differences or other mental or physical special needs become the targets of bullying, as do those who just seem to stand out in a certain way.
On a related point, the Hollywood perception of a victim looking thin or short actually has some truth to it. While it is not the only characteristic of a bullying victim, the appearance of being weaker or not able to defend one’s self in a fight can lead to increased bullying.
Parents who have children that exhibit one or more of these characteristics will want to watch their children carefully if they are concerned about their children getting hurt emotionally or physically by a bully. Legal options may be available to these families if bullying actually occurs.