What Is the Difference Between Direct and Indirect Bullying?

There are many ways to describe bullying. “Direct bullying” and “indirect bullying” refer to the means or method of bullying. Both direct and indirect bullying intend to hurt or harm the targeted victim, and both can have serious short and long-term effects on the victim. Below, our attorneys explain the difference between direct bullying and indirect bullying.

What Is Direct Bullying?

Direct bullying occurs directly between the bully and the targeted victim. Direct bullying is typically overt and the victim knows the bullying is occurring. There is often no attempt from the bully to hide his or her identity. According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, factors that constitute direct bullying include:
  • Behavior is directed at the victim
  • Identity of the bully is usually known
  • Bullying is apparent to the victim and witnesses
  • Generally leaves tangible evidence

What Are Examples of Direct Bullying?

Examples of direct bullying vary, but may include:
  • Hitting, slapping and/or punching
  • Pushing and/or tripping
  • Pulling and/or prodding at the victim’s clothing or body
  • Destroying and/or throwing the victim’s possessions (i.e. books or backpack)
  • Overt taunting or name calling

What Is Indirect Bullying?

Indirect bullying may consist of actions designed to inflict psychological harm on the targeted victim by damaging his or her:
  • Reputation with peers
  • Relationships with peers
  • Self-esteem
Factors that constitute indirect bullying generally include:
  • Anonymity of the bully
  • Hidden behavior
  • Intent to isolate the victim from peers

What Are Examples of Indirect Bullying?

Examples of indirect bullying may include, but are not limited to:
  • Spreading rumors or gossip about the victim
  • Telling peers to ignore or not be friends with the victim
  • Sharing embarrassing photos or videos of the victim through technology or social media
  • Leaving the victim out of something on purpose

Call Our Attorneys to Discuss Your School Bullying Situation

If your child has suffered physical or mental injuries or has taken his or her own life after being bullied, contact Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. We can help you determine whether you have viable legal options to pursue. Set up a free consultation with us by calling (855) 244-2031 or contacting us online.