New York State Police

Crime Prevention:
Power Tripping

Bullies don't go away when elementary school ends; bullying actually peaks in junior high school and continues through high school and even into the workplace. It can lead to serious problems and dangerous situations for both the victim and the bully.

Bullying is repeated and unnecessary aggressive behavior, or quite simply, unprovoked meanness. It's a form of intimidation, behavior designed to threaten or frighten or to get someone to do something they wouldn't normally do. Bullies have learned that bullying works. They do it to feel powerful and in control. There are things you can do to deal with the situation without making things worse.

The Facts


Anyone can be the target of bullying. However, a typical victim is likely to be shy, sensitive, and perhaps anxious or insecure. Some teens are picked on for physical reasons, such as being overweight or small, wearing different or "weird" clothing, having a physical disability, or belonging to a different race or religious faith

The Bully

Intimidators. Some bullies are outgoing, aggressive, active, and expressive. They get their way by brute force or openly harassing someone. They may carry a weapon. This type of bully rejects rules and regulations and needs to rebel to achieve a feeling of being better than everyone else.

Smooth Talkers. Other bullies are more reserved and tricky and may not want to be recognized as harassers or tormentors. They try to control by talking, saying the right thing at the right time, and lying. This type of bully gets his or her power secretively through manipulation and deception.

As different as these two types may seem, all bullies have these characteristics in common:

If You Are the Victim

No one solution works well in every situation, but there are a variety of strategies you can try.

Stop the Bullying

It's everyone's responsibility to stop bullying. And don't be afraid to get help when necessary. It takes courage, but you will be preventing the intimidation from continuing and possibly escalating. You can report the problem to authorities anonymously.