Bullying and suicide

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Bullying and suicide, colloquially referred to as "bullycide", are considered together when the cause of suicide is attributable to the victim having been bullied, either in person or via social media.[1][2][3][4][5] Writers Neil Marr and Tim Field wrote about it in their 2001 book Bullycide: Death at Playtime.[6]

Legal analysts criticise the term bullycide because it links a cause with an effect under someone else's control.[7] Research shows those who are bullied have a higher probability of considering or performing suicide than those who are not.[5] However, there are victims of bullying who do not end up committing suicide, and some of them share their experiences in order to send a positive message to bullying victims that suicide is not the only option.[citation needed]

In 2010, the suicides of teenagers in the United States who were bullied because they were gay or perceived to be[8][9] led to the establishment of the It Gets Better project by Dan Savage,[10][11] The online event, Spirit Day, was created in which participants were asked to wear purple as a symbol of respect for the deceased victims of bullying, particularly cyberbullying, and to signify opposition to the bullying of the LGBT community.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that approximately 4,400 deaths occur from suicide each year. There are about 100 attempts of suicide to every 1 successful suicide. A little over 14% of students in high school consider suicide and just about 7% of them attempt suicide. Students that are bullied are more likely to consider suicide. They are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.[12] A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. 10 to 14 year old teen girls are most likely to commit suicide based on the study from Britain. According to ABC News, nearly 30% of students are either victims of bullies or bullies themselves and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because they are scared of being bullied.[13]

Circumstances that can affect a person's vulnerability[edit]

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) youth[edit]

Suicide attempts are 2-4 times higher than heterosexual peers. Young adults of the LGBT community "must cope with developing sexual minority identity along with negative comments, jokes, and threats of violence. A research identified that 19 studies were linked to suicidal behavior in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students to bullying at school. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender students experience more bullying than heterosexual students.[15]

Warning signs[edit]

  • Talking about or showing interest in death or dying[12]
  • Engaging in dangerous or harmful activities, including reckless behavior, substance abuse, or self-injury [12]
  • Giving away favorite possessions and telling everyone goodbye[12]
  • Saying or expressing that they can't handle things anymore[12]
  • Not showing interest in any thing they used to care about[12]
  • Being Anti-social[12]
  • Making comments that things would be so much better without them[12]

Signs of depression:

  • Feeling of ongoing sadness[12]
  • Withdrawal from others[12]
  • Losing interest in activities that they usually enjoy[12]
  • Having trouble eating or sleeping[12]

It may not be obvious that someone is considering suicide. In some cases a bad case of bullying may be the leading cause or trigger that leads to suicidal thoughts. In such cases where a victim of bullying has killed themselves, bullies tell the victim that they should kill him or herself and that the world would be better off without them. People that hear statements such as the one above should quickly stop and talk to the bully and let the victim know that the bully is wrong and the world would not be better off without them.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marr, Neil; Field, Tim (30 January 2001). Bullycide: Death at Playtime (1 ed.). Success Unlimited. ISBN 978-0-9529121-2-5.
  2. ^ Bender, Joyce (28 April 2008). "Bullycide: The Only Escape for Some Brutalized Children with Disabilities". The Cutting Edge. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  3. ^ Pursell Elliott, Gail (9 May 2003). School Mobbing and Emotional Abuse: See it - Stop it - Prevent it with Dignity and Respect. Routledge. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-415-94551-6.
  4. ^ Moffatt, Gregory K (30 June 2003). Wounded Innocents and Fallen Angels: Child Abuse and Child Aggression. Praeger Publishers. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-275-97848-8.
  5. ^ a b Martinez, Edecio (4 May 2010). "Cyber Bullying Illegal: Mass. Governor Signs Landmark Anti-Bullying Law - Crimesider - CBS News". CBS News. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  6. ^ Marr, Neil; Field, Tim (30 January 2001). Bullycide: Death at Playtime (1 ed.). Success Unlimited. ISBN 978-0-9529121-2-5.
  7. ^ Kohut, Margaret R (9 November 2007). The Complete Guide to Understanding, Controlling, and Stopping Bullies & Bullying: A Complete Guide for Teachers & Parents. Atlantic Publishing Company. p. 114. ISBN 978-1-60138-021-0.
  8. ^ LaSalle, Reneé (16 November 2009). "No Charges in Murray County High School "Bullycide" Case". WDEF News. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  9. ^ Sikora, Kate (31 July 2008). "Signs that can help you save your child". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  10. ^ "GT Investigates - In This Issue". GayTimes. Archived from the original on 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  11. ^ "In suicide's wake, a message to gay teens: Hang on; you are not alone". St. Petersburg Times; Tampabay.com. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Bullying and Suicide". Bullying Statistics. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  13. ^ News, A. B. C. (2010-10-18). "Bullying in America's Schools". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide : What We Know and What it Means for Schools" (PDF). Cdc.gov. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  15. ^ "Suicide and Bullying" (PDF). Sprc.org. Retrieved 2017-01-02.

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