January 18, 2013
There has been a lot said in the media about bullied children and teens across America, but much less is said about the long terms effect of bullying. By the time these adolescents turn into adults, society tells them to forgive and forget. Many people can get over the hurdle of a literal tortured past by telling themselves that their bully was looking for an easy target, the product of junior high and high school insecurity. However, it is not always that easy.

Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus says a person is being bullied when they become “exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons.” Bullying can leave not only deep-seeded resentment for the bully, but it also can cause lifelong insecurity and anger. These adverse effects of bullying are not only emotional, but physical as well. According to Sciencedaily.com, people who were bullied as children were “more likely to have an eating disorder, smoke, consume alcohol, experience subsequent violent victimization, or be homeless.” Researchers say that these consequences can also cause even more destructive long term effects, such as “cancer, alcoholism, depression, and other serious issues.”

With the ever-increasing prevalence of electronics in our society, bullying is not only found in school yards anymore. The abuse follows kids home, known as cyber bullying. Nearly 43% of children report being bullied online and 1 in 4 report being bullied more than once. According to DoSomething.org, cell phones are most common medium for cyber bullying. Parents can help to reduce cyber bulling by keeping tabs on sites that their children frequently visit and making sure their children know to report any cyber bullying. Parents should also make rules about using technology.

Legislation in various states has been passed to try and combat bullying in elementary and middle schools. Students have begun to realize the dangerous implications of bullying and victims are beginning to speak up more about the abuse. Bullying has become a national issue, and with this spotlight comes changes to try and save America’s youth from the long lasting effects of bullying.

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