A bully punches him in the face. Later, he follows the bully home, and that’s where he sees it

I wish it ended like this more often.

“Hurt people hurt people,” the saying goes.

We like to divide the world into “bullies” and “victims.” It can be a helpful way of thinking about things, especially when we’re in a situation where someone else is causing us a lot of pain. But the reality is, unfortunately, more complicated than that.

According to a 2008 study in the U.K., while 5% of children ages 8-11 can be classified as “bullies,” only 0.5 percent are really “true bullies”: kids who bully, but don’t get bullied by others. That means that up to 90% of “bullies” are also victims of bullying. The bullies identified in the study also displayed higher incidences of anger, depression, and suicidal behavior.

Growing up is rough on everyone, but it doesn’t have to be. If you or someone you know is the victim of bullying, StopBullying.gov is a great source of information on how to heal. For LGBTQ youth, the Trevor Project has terrific resources as well. It’s never too late.

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