Bullying: The Difference Between Games And Crimes


Beaten woman

When a person is knocked to the floor or slammed up against the wall, we recognize the harm done and takes steps to prevent it from happening again.  The act of physical harm is commonly frowned upon.  Even if the target of harm is a member of an unpopular sub-culture, the violence involved will trigger alarm.  Physical violence is a crime in any sense of the word.

If somebody has been hit, slapped, stuffed in a locker or kicked, there is no way to deny that someone’s physical and personal space is violated.  A line is crossed.  The term for this lind of behavior is “criminal action.”  It is an expected norm for wild, lower animals to attack one another or even human beings.  It’s part of their job.  We don’t think anything strange about signs at the zoo that read “Stay out of the lion cage.”

Human beings are not lions.  It would be smart to assume that act of violence by a person is indicative of psychiatric struggle.  Look in the DSM-IV-TR under Conduct Disorder or AntiSocial Personality.  Physical violence of any kind is part of the symptom criteria clusters.  When bullying progresses from repeated social mind games to any sort of physical harm, stop calling it “bullying” and start calling it “criminal action.”

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