Bullying - Do you really know what it is?

Bullying is everywhere today and sadly it comes in many forms

Discrimination toward or against a person or group is the prejudicial treatment based on certain personal characteristics.
Examples of Discriminatory conduct:
•Making offensive ‘jokes’ or innuendo about another person’s racial or ethnic background, sex, sexual preference, age or disability;
•Expressing negative stereotypes about particular groups e.g. “married women shouldn’t be working” or “women shouldn’t be engineers” or “old people are resistant to change”;
•Judging someone on their political or religious beliefs rather than their work performance; and
•Using selection processes based on irrelevant attributes such as age, race or disability rather than on skills and merit.

Indirect discrimination can occur through seemingly fair rules and practices which assume that all people are the same and the practise was not necessarily intending to discriminate.
Examples of Indirect Discrimination
•Not promoting a woman to a senior position because of the assumption that she will not cope due to her family commitments – this is sexual discrimination.
•Having a function at a location that people in wheelchair can not access – this is disability discrimination.
•Stereotyping particular groups and creating an expectation of low performance
•Having meetings or events on ‘holy days’ for other ethnical groups – this is race discrimination.

Harassment is any repeated or systematic behaviour by a person that is unwelcome and unsolicited, considered by the recipient to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating, and/or threatening. The behaviour can be physical, psychological or emotional abuse and it is strictly prohibited and illegal under state and federal law.
Examples of Harassment
•Making fun of someone or telling insulting jokes.
•Spreading rumours or sending intimidating emails.
•Using offensive language or displaying offensive posters or screen savers.
•Excluding someone from activities or making comments about protected characteristics such as; race or religion.
•Threatening behaviour or asking intrusive questions about someone’s private life.

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature, which is offensive, humiliating or intimidating. Sexual harassment can be a single or repeated incident - it depends on the circumstances. Sexual harassment occurs when it is how the behaviour was perceived, not necessarily how it was intended.
There is no onus on the person being harassed to say he/she finds the conduct objectionable at the time for it to constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment has nothing to do with mutually acceptable behaviour. Sexual harassment is unlawful wherever and whenever it occurs.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
•Unwelcome touching or other physical contact.
•Remarks with sexual connotations.
•Sexually based jokes or verbal abuse.
•Distributing sexually explicit material via electronic means such as email.
•Smutty or offensive jokes or comments.
•Requests for sexual activities.
•Unnecessary familiarity such as brushing up against someone or flashing.
•The display of offensive materials such as pictures, poster, screen savers or computer graphics.
•Repeatedly asking someone out even after refusal.

Bullying means any behaviour that is repeated, systematic and directed towards a person or a group of people. Bullying is defined as behaviour which poses and/or causes risk to health or safety. Bullying can be non-verbal, verbal or physical.
Repeated refers to the persistent or on-going nature of the behaviour and can refer to a range of different types of behaviour over time.
Systematic refers to having, showing or involving a method or a plan.
In general, bullying is normally repeated behaviour; however should an individual instance be of a serious nature, the company will consider if it is severe enough to warrant further action
Examples of Bullying behaviour
•Repeated threats of violence.
•Maliciously exploiting or isolating a person from activities.
•Humiliating and/or demeaning teasing, joking or holding a person up to ridicule through gestures, sarcasm.
•Sabotaging a person’s work.
•Repeated sledging matches via social media. Unacceptable racial comments about culture, language religion or race.
•Deliberately giving confusing and contradictory instructions.
•Unfair and excessive public criticism.
•Verbal abuse, the use of offensive language.
•Sending offensive or humiliating emails.
•Deliberately withholding information that is vital for effective work performance.

Victimisation is treating someone unfairly for making a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying, or treating someone unfairly for supporting someone else in making a complaint.
Example of Victimisation
•Say that the person is not strong enough on their own because they made a complaint.
•Jokes that a person who has previously made a complaint will make a complaint if they found out what is really going on…

Vilification is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. Vilification happens in a public place; and incites others to hate, to have serious contempt for or to severely ridicule individuals or groups because of their race, religion, sexuality or gender identity.
Examples of Vilification
•Saying out loud that ‘homosexual’ people are weird.
•Writing racist graffiti in a public place
•Verbally or physically abusing someone because of their race or religion
•Wearing Nazi insignia
•Making offensive comments about a particular religion in an email that is widely distributed

Some possible effects on an Individual
Gastrointestinal Problems
Suicidal Thoughts
Family Breakdowns
Stressrelated diseases
Hair loss
Loss of confidence
Mental breakdown