Bullying, what risks does the victim who reacts with violence risk?

Despite attempts at repression, bullying continues to be a rampant plague, especially in school where one would expect a safe and supervised environment.
Yet, more and more victims are exasperated and end up making extreme gestures and reacting with violence.
Just in the first week of December, a fourteen-year-old who stabbed a student was arrested on charges of attempted murder.
According to some statements, it seems that the boy made this gesture due to the bullying he suffered, a circumstance however denied by the teachers (even though the boy had recently asked for a class move).
The matter is in the hands of the Cagliari prosecutor's office.
It is useless to underline that, however humanly understandable the reasons that lead to aggressive outbursts may be, these are wrong gestures, especially from a legal point of view.
The system does not allow do-it-yourself justice, but only self-defense.
However, it must be underlined that in evaluating each specific case, judges also take into consideration the ways in which the crime occurs, the particular psychological conditions of the perpetrator and his intentions.
For this reason, jurisprudence has sometimes shown itself to be sympathetic to victims of bullying who used violence on their attackers, at least when the gravity of the action allowed it and when there was concurrence of responsibility.
Let's therefore analyze some sentences on the matter to understand what the limit of punishment is and what the victim of bullying who reacts with violence risks.
What risks the victim of bullying who reacts with violence, the jurisprudence The most emblematic ruling regarding the reactions of victims of bullying against their attackers is undoubtedly civil ordinance no.
22541/2019 of the Court of Cassation, in which the judges considered the analysis of the context and the environment to be fundamental.
The Court of Cassation found that the boy, who punched the bully, had been a victim of bullying in constant conditions of humiliation.
The judges criticized the conduct of the institutions and in particular of the school, which did not act to protect the victim to stop the acts of bullying.
On this point they note, in particular, the young age of the boy, who understandably has not yet formed his personality as well as the emotional repercussions of the harassment which understandably led to an emotional reaction, rather than a rational and lucid one.
Furthermore, the judges wanted to prevent a mechanism of internal victimization, considering the school itself as the main responsible for the incident, which evidently did not effectively protect the students (both).
read also Legitimate defense in Italy, what can be done and what not The Supreme Court has ruled on the issue of compensation for damages, creating a significant precedent.
However, this does not mean that violent reaction is always justifiable and legitimate, especially when it completely lacks the requirements of self-defense and these particular circumstances.
The case in question undoubtedly does not fall within the parameters of self-defense, but is rather motivated by the particular circumstances examined: The psychological condition and young age of the perpetrator/victim of bullying; the slight magnitude of the action and the intention; the responsibility of the school which did not intervene to stem the problem, as well as of the parents.
It is likely that, although it is not a question of self-defense, new sentences of this kind could arrive in cases that meet the same requirements.
However, the lesson drawn from the cited sentence is fundamental to understand the possible principle of interpretation of similar cases, i.e.
the contributory guilt of the bully/victim to be presumed in the absence of contrary evidence and interventions by the institutions.
However, the responsibility of the parents is not excluded, who regardless of the educational task also aims to impart the correct reactions and grasp signs of danger and discomfort in order to intervene.
Returning to the starting question, it is not easy to hypothesize what a victim risks who reacts to the bully with violence, but without a doubt the action cannot be justified when deferred (compared to the offense) and disproportionate or particularly brutal.
Minors are still judged by the competent court, with the special rules reserved for them by the penal system, but they are punishable in all respects.
At the same time, they could be asked to pay compensation for the damages, or rather, their parents could be.
Therefore, the victim who reacts with violence is still subjected to the criminal trial and then sanctioned as a consequence of the outcome.
Having suffered bullying is evaluated by judges, even in civil matters of compensation for damages, but it is not an excuse.
read also Bullying: sanctions for teachers and families

Author: Hermes A.I.

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