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Introduction

Bullying can gradually wear a person down. It can leave the individual feeling inadequate, demeaned and hopeless, believing they can never get anything right. The symptoms and signs may creep up on the victim long before they are able to appreciate what is happening or indeed how ill it is making them feel. Bullying will not only affect the victim’s work environment, but can spill over into their domestic life.

Bullying has no simple definition; it can take many forms. Bullying can take place in a variety of situations, and crosses gender, race, age, disability and sexual orientation. Bullying can involve a number of individuals or just one. For the purpose of this survey the Society of Radiographers defines bullying as:-

  • unwarranted, humiliating, offensive behaviour towards an individual or group of employees
  • such persistently negative malicious attacks on personal or professional performance; often unseen, unpredictable, unfair and irrational
  • an abuse of power or position that can cause such anxiety that people gradually lose all belief in themselves, suffering physical ill health and mental distress as a direct result
  • the abuse of the perpetrator’s position or power, which can be used to coerce the victim by fear, persecution or to oppress them by force or threat of the loss of something
  • a range from an extreme form such as violence and intimidation to less obvious actions, the simplest being deliberately ignoring someone whilst at work.

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