Hazing, Bullying & Intimidation
What You Need to Know
Hazing is defined as any activity that expects someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) to humiliate themselves, degrade or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. Years ago, hazing practices were typically considered harmless pranks or comical antics connected with college fraternities.
Nowadays, hazing extends far beyond college fraternities and is experienced by boys/men and girls/women in school groups, university organizations, athletic teams, the military, and other social and professional organizations. Hazing is become a complex social problem that is shaped by power dynamics operating in a group and/or organization and within a particular cultural context.
Hazing activities are generally considered to be:
- Physically abusive
- Sexually violating
Specific behaviors or activities within these categories vary widely among participants, groups and settings. Although alcohol use is common in many types of hazing, other examples of typical hazing practices include:
- Personal servitude
- Sleep deprivation
- Restrictions on personal hygiene
- Yelling, swearing and insulting new members/rookies
- Being forced to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire in public
- Consumption of vile substances or smearing of such on one’s skin
- Physical beatings
- Binge drinking and drinking games
- Sexual simulation and sexual assault
The statistics speak to the widespread problem:
- 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year
- 55% of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing
- 40% of athletes who reported being involved in hazing behaviors report that a coach or advisor was aware of the activity and shockingly, 22% report that the coach was involved
- 2 out of 5 students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus. More than 1 in 5 report that they personally have witnessed hazing
- 95% of cases where students acknowledged their experience as hazing did not report the events to campus officials
- 36% of students say they would not report hazing mainly because they feel there’s nobody to tell and 27% feel that adults won’t handle it correctly.
It’s imperative for parents and students to understand the dangers and prevalent problem of hazing. Those who observe hazing must appreciate the importance of reporting these incidents. Hazing is a crime that destroys team members and weakens the team/group and should never be tolerated. Victims can now take legal action.
Here are some signs to look for in an individual that may be the victim of hazing:
- Branding, cutting, labeling or shaving of parts of the body
- Being required to walk in groups, greet members in a specific manner, and/or carry certain items.
- Having the loss of voice due to having to yell
- Physical exhaustion from being forced to do strenuous activities
- Mental exhaustion, change in personality and/or withdrawal from normal activities
- Inability to sit down or soreness from paddling
- Manifestation of sadness or expressions of inferiority
- Sleep deprivation due to being forced to participate in late-night work sessions
- Staying away from home for days or weeks at a time
Is your child or someone you know the victim of hazing? Hazing is a punishable crime and it is important for victims to know their rights. If your child was the victim of a hazing episode, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries as well as pain and suffering. The responsible parties may include the school, organization and accountable parties.
Free Consultation with a Chicago Hazing Injuries Attorney
If you have questions regarding your hazing injuries, contact us today for a free consultation at (312) 458-1000, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You pay nothing unless we win your case.