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Bullying affects victims of all ages - and not just in schools

Bullying is not just occurring in schools, but at work, on social media, between neighbors, and on the athletic field. (KRCG 13)

When many think of bullying, they picture a child struggling in the school hallway. However, experts say bullying does not just happen in schools, but everywhere, and that nobody is exempt.

"There's bullying everywhere. There's bullying in schools, there's bullying in department stores, there's bullying when you're driving your car," Lewis and Clark Middle School Principal Dr. Sherri Elliott-Thomas said.

Elliott-Thomas said in schools, a majority of bullying issues actually happen outside of school.

"Our biggest problem that we have with bullying are things that occur at night or after school," Elliott-Thomas said. "The social media part where people will begin to say things that are not very nice and then they get these group things going."

Bullying though, can happen anywhere and adults are sometimes the victims. One local social worker said bullying can occur at work, between neighbors, on social media between family members, and the athletic field.

"Adults in general are a little bit wiser about behavior and know that some behavior isn't appropriate and some behavior shouldn't be exhibited," Boone Hospital Social Worker Kimberly Smith said. "They know it might be cause for some kind of reprimand at work so they can get pretty good at finding ways to corner somebody that they have a problem with."

This, she said, makes it a case of 'he said/she said' when the issue is reported to human resources. Smith also said bullying never really leaves a person after the major incident occurs.

"Bullying doesn't just take place in the moment. It doesn't just take place on that school bus or in that private office," Smith said. "It takes place in a person's head. Those words can linger."

She said whether the bullying victim is a child or an adult, everyone can benefit from self help.

"The important thing goes back to what we all are working on at some level and that is to have some really good, solid self-esteem," Smith added.

Smith said what a bully says about a victim, should not be their truth.

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