Children and young people are occasionally exposed to bullying in different environments, for example in school, online or during hobbies. Bullying can also meet the essential elements of an offence. No one should have to endure bullying or violence. Do not hesitate to tell a trusted adult if you are being bullied.
“No one should have to endure bullying or violence”
Bullying may for example involve:
- Creating fake profiles
- Damaging property
Bullied children and young people may have to deal with, for example, anxiety, fear and nervousness every day. It is important to get help quickly. The negative feelings caused by bullying and violence can easily leave scars on the child’s self-esteem and mind. Bullying experienced in childhood or adolescence can at its worst still complicate life as an adult. Repeated bullying is violence – and violence always leaves scars. Violence affects the lives of all the parties in some way.
“Repeated bullying is violence – and violence always leaves scars”
If the bullying meets the essential elements of an offence, the offender can be criminally liable and liable for damages for his/her actions. Even though a person under the age of 15 cannot be punished for a crime, he is still liable to compensate for the damages he/she has caused. Persons over the age of 15 can get a note in the criminal record and a person under the age of 15 can get a note in the data system for police matters. It is important to remember that inciters and abettors also can be guilty of a crime.
Examples of criminal classifications in bullying:
- Dissemination of information violating personal privacy
- Identity theft
- Criminal damage
Violence must always be addressed, regardless of the environment. Sometimes the bully explains his actions by saying that it was for fun and that it was a joke. A crime is a crime and cannot be explained in any way. The offender is always responsible for the violence.
Advice for bullied
- Do not try to cope on your own, tell a trusted adult
- Get help and demand that an adult intervenes
- If the intervention is not enough, tell another adult
- Discuss the bullying with your friends and consider if they could support you in any way
- If it feels difficult to talk about it, you can come to the RIKUchat and discuss
- You can also ask for help from the Internet police
- If necessary, you can report the crime to the police
- Remember that the bullying is not your fault in any way
Advice to relatives of the bullied
- Listen and give time to the bullied
- Believe the story of the bullied and do not diminish the experience
- Take strong action to stop the bullying
- If necessary, contact the school
- Ensure that the school makes a plan to stop the bullying
- Ponder together with the bullied why they bully and how wrong they are
- Discuss that revenge is not a good option
- Confirm the good sides and the strengths of the bullied person
- Discuss how the bullying feels and what is good to do when different emotions take over
- Teach the bullied how to calm down, for example by deep breaths
- Remind the bullied that anyone can fall victim to bullying
- If necessary, ask for help from the child welfare
- If you suspect that a crime has been committed, report the crime to the police
- Mediation or the Anchor team can also help
It is important that the school staff and other students intervene when bullying or crime is discovered in the school. Everybody has the right to a safe education and to physical integrity. It is good if the school has a plan for situations of violence and that this plan also is followed. The most important is that an adult is told about the bullying and that the situation of the bullied should under no circumstances be diminished. The victim should be listened to in piece and the story should be taken seriously.
“Everybody has the right to a safe education and to physical integrity”
The most important in bullying situations is openness and cooperation. The school staff must tell the parents/custodians of both parties about the bullying. The cooperation between the parents/custodians and the school is important. If the school’s own methods are not enough, the school staff must ask for help from, for example, the police. If you are worried about the well-being of minors you must ask for help from the child welfare. Children have the right to get necessary help and the adults are responsible for ensuring access to adequate help.
“If the school’s own methods are not enough, the school staff must ask for help from, for example, the police”
The case can also be solved through mediation by people outside the school. The Anchor team can also help. The Anchor work is carried out in a multidisciplinary anchor team. The team consists of experts from the police and social, health and youth services. The school staff is in certain situations obliged to make a child welfare notification and a report to the police.
- Get help
- Supporting children and young people
- Anchor work
- Reporting a crime
- Criminal process
- Reporting obligation
- Material and quizzes to bring things up with young people