Abuse among youth

Bullying is repeated abuse, physical or emotional, where one or more people pick on an individual who has trouble defending themselves. Watching bullying happen and not doing anything about it is the same as participating in it. You can make a difference and prevent bullying. In order to do so, you have to know what bullying is and make sure that others know, too.

Bullying can be:

  • Physical. Hitting, kicking, pushing.
  • Verbal. Calling someone names, making rude comments, teasing them repeatedly.
  • Written. Negative messages online or over the phone, graffiti, letters or notes.
  • Indirect. Gossip, exclusion, ostracising someone from a friend group.
  • Material. Stealing or destroying things.
  • Emotional. Forcing someone to do something against their will.

Against bullying

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Online bullying

The effects of online bullying (in Icelandic) are serious and long-lasting. When online bullying starts, it is very difficult to stop it and the person who is a victim of it is never out of danger.

In Icelandic

Have you experienced online harassment?

Physical fights

Physical assault can have very serious consequences for everyone involved.

One hit can kill or injure and people have to live with that for the rest of their life.

Violence has horrible psychological consequences, both for those who are victims of it and those who inflict it.

There are legal consequences for those who inflict violence.

People who watch and encourage fights or don’t do anything about them are participating in the violence. If you are a witness of a physical fight it’s best to walk away and let the police know by contacting 112. You could save a life.

If you watch a video of a fight online without letting an adult know you are participating in violence and saying that this behaviour is OK. If you know about a video like that, you should report it to the police.

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When do teenagers become criminally responsible?

Teenagers become criminally responsible at the age of 15. That means that they can be punished according to the law if they commit an offence. They can be arrested and put in custody. Child protection services and parents are always notified when that happens because there are special rules about teenagers under 18.

Digital sexual abuse

There’s nothing wrong with taking and sending a sexual picture of yourself or others if everyone involved wants to. But when it is done through pressuring someone or without permission it is illegal.

Manneskja situr flötum beinum á gólfinu með annan fótinn krossaðan yfir. Hún er leið á svip og með lokuð augun. Hún er með dökkt sítt hár, er í blárri peysu, dökkum buxum og brúnum skóm. Hún heldur hægri hendinni upp að eyranu en heldur farsímannum upp fyrir framan sig í vinstri hendinni.

Advice for parents to prevent youth violence

Young people become violent when they do not know other ways to resolve conflict. Here's good advice for parents who want to prevent youth violence.