John F Kennedy asserted “The
rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened”.
Violence is often associated with physical abuse while the more prevalent
emotional abuse is neglected. Such emotional experiences may not be viewed as
bullying by everyone, however they can lead to depression and low self esteem.
Thinking of themselves as young and careless, bullies are quick to get over
their exploits, however the effects on the victim are much more long lasting.
Various incidents of bullying in Pakistan have been documented over the years.
From cyber bullying to work place and school bullying, the phenomenon has been
exceedingly prevalent in our society. According to a study carried out amongst
25 countries, Pakistan takes 22nd place for the highest rate of cyber bullying.
With accelerated technological advancements in the country, Pakistan has been
highlighted as one of the countries where cybercrime is increasing. Moreover,
research conducted by Microsoft on a segment of 8-17 years old in Pakistan,
illustrates 26% individuals are bullied online, whereas 53% are bullied offline.
Absence of the existence of formal school and college regulations and awareness
suggests online bullying is not seen as a demanding issue. The study also
reveals women and girls in Pakistan experience much bullying as compared to men.
The male-dominated culture in Pakistan can arguably be one of the core reasons
why women are victimized. The accelerated use of social media has made this
problem worse. In 2016, more evidence and material was generated regarding the
bullying of females in Pakistan. The National Response Center for Cyber Crimes
(NR3C) does not currently have any legislature for cyber crimes such as hacking
and online stalking in place.
A Pakistani blogger, Nabiha Meher asserts cyber bullying threatens entire
households in Pakistan not just the victims in this case girls. Pakistani women
are constantly harassed online and are even sent rape threats. The Pakistani
culture teaches that a family’s honor is connected to a woman. Therefore, women
avoid speaking out about such incidents in fear of being accused and bringing
shame to their families. Moreover, women often turn towards hurting themselves
or even committing suicide in worse settings. One such incident was highlighted
by Dawn News when a girl committed suicide because her landlord was bullying and
harassing her over social media and in real life too.
Another study shows bullying at school leads to insomnia, severe depression and
a failure to perform well at academics among students.
In comparison to students who neither felt isolated nor had suffered any
mistreatment, students who felt secluded and couldn’t sleep held a greater
likelihood of being victimized in the past 30 days. Many noted incidents in
Pakistani schools not only included bullying from fellow students but also from
school teachers and principals. Brandsynario cites one such incident of Karachi
Public School(KPS), where a pupil was called out by her teacher because she
forgot to take her nail polish off. The teacher went on to accuse her of trying
to impress the boys and kicked her out of class.
An occurrence from 2005 narrated in Dawn that a contractor was alleged of
bullying bus owners in Hyderabad. The contractor was charging bus owners 8 times
the registered parking fee. When one of the drivers spoke up against this
oppression the contractor harassed him and shattered his windows. This
illustrates that bullying is not just restricted to schools, children and
Bullying needs to be stopped at its roots. Why do bullies bully? Because they
have been tormented by someone in their earlier lives. Both the bully and the
victim are victims at times. Therefore, awareness needs to be spread regarding
social and cultural issues and family values should encourage respect and
dignity of all members of the society.