She felt so ostracised that she was rumoured to have attempted suicide and eventually left the school.Yet another girl regularly started lunch each day by pulling her school bag out of the bin.Dr Ken Rigby is one of Australia’s leading authorities on school bullying and peer victimisation, having written more than 60 research papers and numerous books on the topic.
I heard of a high school recently where a bully was awarded a student leadership badge …
It can be as subtle as a withering glance, as painful as lunchtime exclusion and as insidious as an email hate campaign designed to ruin the victim’s reputation.
It’s hardly surprising then that experts now believe that relational abuse is often more damaging to the long-term psychological health of its victims than either physical or face-to-face verbal abuse.
Behaviour that was once dismissed as girls “just being bitchy” is today acknowledged as “relational bullying”.
It’s a new tag for those age-old, indirect (and often vicious) forms of aggression favoured by girls: backstabbing, exclusion, rumour spreading and the manipulation of friendships.