TAIPEI (CNA) – Three of 10 Taiwanese adolescents have experienced bullying, either as victims or being aware of it, with verbal and physical bullying the most common, a survey conducted by a children’s rights group has found.
The survey by the Taiwan International Association for Advancement of Children Rights found that 30.58 percent of respondents – consisting of junior and senior high school students – said they have either been the victims of bullying or have seen or heard people around them being bullied.
The types of bullying they were subject to or witnessed were verbal bullying (86.3 percent), physical bullying (70.8 percent), relational bullying (67 percent), cyberbullying (18 percent), and sexual bullying (13.6 percent), the survey found.
When asked about the cause of the bullying, respondents attributed 59 percent of the cases to the victim’s personality, 49.5 percent to the victim’s physical appearance and 27 percent to the victim’s personal hygiene.
Chang An-tzu (張安慈), a consultant at the association, said the survey found that 13 percent of the respondents were victims of bullying, which resulted in polarized reactions.
Some victims, Chang said, change their attitudes and push to improve themselves, but others became depressed, reluctant and afraid to make friends.
Those adolescents may refuse to go to school, injure themselves deliberately, or have nightmares after being bullied and even lash out first when they feel they are about to be bullied, Chang said.
Judging from the reasons cited for bullying, it shows that young people’s character, including their ability to make friends, personal self-image, and sense of worth, can still be improved, Chang said.
Arguing that efforts to prevent bullying still need to be strengthened, Chang said that as many as 70 percent of adolescents will pretend they did not see, choose not to get involved or do not know what to do when they witness bullying.
The survey was conducted in March and collected 1,205 valid samples from students in junior and senior high school in Taiwan.
By Phoenix Hsu and William Yen