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Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Victims may have serious lasting problems, in particular bullying can [cause] long-term depressive symptoms.

While traditional intervention for bullying tends to include getting help for the victim and establishing consequences for the bully, it should be noted that both the victim and the bully benefit from psychosocial support.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

An Imbalance of Power: such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularit, being able to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors (rape and pedophilia being the most effective), attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Studies show that when rumours spread victims enter depressions, and engage in self-harming behaviors as a means of obtaining relief from a negative feeling or cognitive state.