Consequences for victims of bullying

Bullying can have serious and long-lasting consequences for the victim. Children that have experienced being bullied can develop various difficulties. Even though the bullying has stopped, victims of bullying may struggle with the consequences for years afterwards.

Research shows that bullying affects children's physical and mental health, and their social and academic functionality.

Children who are, or have been, bullied, may:

  • complain of having stomach aches or head aches
  • struggle with anxiety and depression
  • sleep badly
  • feel sadness and lack of joy
  • feel excluded and alone
  • experience a lack of appetite
  • develop a negative self - they start believing that something is really wrong with them, with the things they are bullied about
  • lose joy of activities that were fun before
  • experience stress and poor concentration in class
  • develop a tendency to isolate themselves, to avoid new children / people or new activities-all that could create unsafe conditions
  • have trouble forming and keeping relationships in the future, develop school refusal, drop out, and may in some cases attempt suicide.

The children who are struggling the most are those that both harass and are victims of harassment by others over a long period of time.

In recent years, research has shown that some victims develop post-traumatic stress symptoms in the same way as children who have experienced natural disasters. These symptoms affect learning and normal functioning in school.

  1. It is very important that the schools / teachers have knowledge of the consequences of bullying.
  2. Schools should develop a plan for systemic monitoring of the victim over time and in the school context.
  3. Good monitoring requires effective cooperation between teachers, parents and support services to support and adapt the learning environment to the needs of these students.

Text: Ella Maria Cosmovici Idsøe