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Bullying At University: What Is It & How To Protect Yourself

KUALA LUMPUR, 11.10.2021 – Bullying at university is not uncommon and has affected a large number of people, especially the victims. To curb the issue, university students need to be aware of what bullying is and how to protect themselves from experiencing any form of harassment while studying.

A boy pushing another boy to the wall and a girl recording Image source: Pexels

Bullying, or an act that is carried out to cause physical or mental harm to others can cause mental health issues among university students. Some forms of bullying include, but are not limited to:

  • Name-calling
  • Discrimination
  • Racism
  • Social and emotional bullying
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • LGBTQ+ Discrimination

Cyberbullying is another form of bullying where the victim is bullied on social media sites and through text, email, chat rooms, and interaction with peers or strangers on online platforms. It is also a prominent form of bullying that affects 1 in every 10 students, as reported by ABC News.

According to the article “Bullying in university between peers and by personnel: cultural variation in prevalence, forms, and gender differences in four countries” by Pörhölä, M., Cvancara, K., Kaal, E., the United States was reported to have the highest frequencies of bullying at university in most of the forms, such as verbal attacks, criticism, mocking a person’s personal qualities, social discrimination, and physical damage to the victims’ personal belongings.

Furthermore, data of a Student Experience Report from the National Union of Students (NUS) showed that 7% out of 3,135 students from the United Kingdom had been through bullying at university, whereas 79% of them have witnessed bullying during their time as a university student.

Bullying at university can be curbed through various methods:

1) Speak to someone trustworthy who can help

Student Unions are usually able to help students sort out problems that arise at the university. They may have counsellors who can help students deal with any mental health issues that resulted from their experience as a bully victim.

Friends and family are usually trusted people who can help students report bullying, as well as to provide emotional support when needed.

2) Keep an eye out for anti-bullying campaigns

With mental health awareness on the rise, more universities are embracing the issue and having their own anti-bullying campaigns. From sexual harassment to verbal abuse, universities are taking the first step to provide support to the victims.

These campaigns may exist in the forms of a social media hashtag, talks, seminars, and more, with the goal of giving victims a voice to speak up about their experiences.

3) Report the act of bullying to the campus authority

The campus authority or Law Enforcement team will know what actions they should take to help a victim. A prompt action by the student will ensure that the authority could investigate and punish the bully and ensure the safety and health of the victim.

In conjunction with World Mental Health Day, here are some articles that may help you understand the topic better:

Jocelyn Cheng

Jocelyn Cheng

Jocelyn Cheng (JC) is an INFP writer seeking to spread inspiration and spark connections through her words. Her dedication to writing has gifted her with an ability to write for multiple platforms (e.g., website, social media, newspaper, magazine, etc) in different fields, namely Education, Travel, and Lifestyle. JC personalizes her works by adding a touch of her own experience into the mix whenever she can to relate to her readers. A self-proclaimed poet and currently a freelance writer, she's working on an untitled poetry book at home while juggling between writing for Eduloco, dancing, and keeping her only plant alive.

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