Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bullying by Girls `Being Ignored'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bullying by Girls `Being Ignored'

Article excerpt

Bullying by girls is being ignored by schools and employers despite causing suicides and lasting psychological damage, a North expert says.

Educational psychologist Dr Val Besag ( a world renowned expert on bullying ( has tackled the subject in a new book called Understanding Girls' Friendships, Fights and Feuds. She said that bullying by girls, and by women later in life, can often by dismissed as mere squabbling or bitchiness ( despite often doing more harm than the physical bullying more associated with boys.

Dr Besag is now calling on schools in the region to give more attention to the issue.

She said: "Girls' bullying is very different from boys' and we're very much underestimating it.

"A boy bully often doesn't care who the victim is, it's just about asserting their dominance by picking on someone weaker than them.

"With girls it's within their friendships and that's why it can be so much more damaging.

"I've been looking at this for about 10 years and on many occasions it gets dismissed as squabbling but you can see the distress it's causing. …

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