Anti-Bullying Week: What is bullying?

For the 2019/20 #HostEnvironmentalPledge, we have adopted BulliesOut as one of our three Charities. You can find out all about BulliesOut on their website and about the Host environmental pledge in our recent blog.



What is Bullying?

Bullying is defined as:

While we may think of bullying as a playground activity, it reaches way beyond the school system. Each and every person around the world, no matter what age, in every school, college, university and workplace can be affected by bullying.


Types of Bullying.

Bullying behaviour can be:

  • Physical – pushing, poking, kicking, hitting, biting, pinching etc.
  • Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, belittling.
  • Emotional – isolating others, tormenting, hiding books, threatening gestures, ridicule, humiliation, intimidating, excluding, manipulation and coercion.
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact, inappropriate touching, abusive comments, homophobic abuse, exposure to inappropriate films etc.
  • Online /cyber – posting on social media, sharing photos, sending nasty text messages, social exclusion
  • Indirect – Can include the exploitation of individuals.

The effect of bullying.

Bullying causes unimaginable distress to a person, including anxiety, stress and depression. It affects all areas of your emotional well-being and has a major impact on your mental health. And it’s not just those being bullied that it affects, bullying also affects the bystanders who see it happen, the families, the friendship groups and also the bully themselves.

The effect of Bullying.

Those who are bullied may:

  • Feel disconnected from university and not want to attend or even quit.
  • Have lower academic outcomes, including lower attendance.
  • Lack quality friendships.
  • Display high levels of emotion that indicate vulnerability and low levels of resilience.
  • Avoid conflict and be socially withdrawn.
  • Have low self-esteem.
  • Become depressed, anxious and lonely.
  • Have nightmares.
  • Feel wary or suspicious of others.
  • In extreme cases, have a higher risk of self-harm and/or suicide.

But it’s only banter!

We all take part in a little banter with flatmates and course mates, but there’s a limit!

Think of how the other person could take it. It can be confusing for someone to try and work out whether name-calling, for example, is banter or bullying. If it’s a one-off then it’s just banter, but when it becomes persistent and regular, it’s crossed the line. Banter becomes bullying when it is:

  • Intended to insult and humiliate the other person.
  • If it becomes regular and persistent.
  • Even after they have asked someone to stop, it continues.

Conflict V Bullying.

In university and/or your workplace, there will be times when conflict takes place between you and another, you need to understand the difference between a conflict and an example of bullying.

Conflict:

  • A disagreement or difference of opinion.
  • An inevitable part of group dynamics.
  • Equal power between those involved.
  • Usually, an isolated incident or it’s occasional.
  • All involved make an effort to resolve the situation.

Bullying:

  • Based on an imbalance of power.
  • The intent to harm – on purpose.
  • Happens repeatedly.
  • Serious – Cause physical or emotional harm.
  • Does not stop when asked.
  • Should always be reported.

Getting help.

It’s important to seek help and support if you are experiencing any form of bullying. You can speak to your family and friends, although we understand that doing so can be more difficult than confronting the bully themselves.

Try speaking to someone at your university first, this could a student support advisor, a personal tutor, a student union rep, or any member of university staff you feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to have a chat with any of our friendly team in your Host student accommodation, who really do care about you and your wellbeing and happiness are important to us all at Host.

Remember no one deserves to be bullied and you have the right to make a formal complaint to your university. Once you take those vital first steps to report the bullying, the university is obligated to safeguard your interests so that you can enjoy your studying in a safe and respectable environment.

When you make a complaint to your university, they must undertake a full investigation which may lead to disciplinary action being taken against the bully. Your university should have a clear anti-bullying policy in place, you should be able to get a copy on the university website or just ask for one.

Sources: BulliesOut | Anti-Bullying Alliance | Anti-Bullying Alliance

#HostEnvironmentalPledge.
Getting serious about the environment we live in.

To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.

It’s a simple campaign! If we can reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by 1% then we will donate £10,000, 2% reduction means £20,000, 3% is £30,000 and so on, to 3 charities; BulliesOut, Plastic Patrol and World Land Trust.

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