The factors that can be considered criteria or clichés for victims of bullying can be either the causes or effects of the bullying itself. In this way, when a person feels defenceless it leads to a risk situation which may lead a person to be a bully or be bullied.

However, based on what causes bullying or how different people react to being bullied. It is possible to distinguish victims into two general groups; passive victims and provocative victims.

Although they are different groups, there is one common characteristic that unites both passive and provocative victims; they find themselves in a situation where they feel inferior to the bully(ies).

Characteristics that lead to the victim feeling isolated:

Everything mentioned up till now, including isolation, contribute to the victim’s feeling of inferiority. The risk of being chosen as a victim also increases with certain characteristics that lead to isolation; pertaining to a cultural or ethnic minority, having special educational needs, act differently from common moral, cultural or even sexist stereotypes that are engrained into the society in question.

Therefore, there are differing ideas about how to handle bullying and one aspect of prevention in schools believes it should be handled as an overall problem that affects the school system and not only on defining the individual factors that characterise a possible victim.

Characteristics of the active victim and provocative victim:

The following table is a comparative table of both of these types of victims:


Bullying involves the bully, the victim and even the bystanders who do not act but still witness it happening. Do you think bullying prevention should focus on each individual factor or the system in general? We want to hear your opinion on the matter, don’t forget to leave a comment!

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