Sorority Bullying

What is Hazing in Sororities?

Teenagers who choose to study in sorority colleges can experience bullying as a part of initiation into a group. The victims coerced to participate in hazing behaviors can go through life-changing experiences. Therefore, if you or someone close has been injured or sexually exploited due to hazing, seeking legal help from an experienced defamation lawyer at Mullen Law Firm is important.

Hazing is a ritual expected of new members joining or participating in a group. New participants may have to take part in risky, painful, or harmful activities. Victims can get humiliated, embarrassed, and abused regardless of their willingness to participate. Unfortunately, hazing can lead to physical, emotional, or mental damage.


How Common is Sorority Hazing?

Sorority hazing is common in educational establishments, social groups, and sporting events. According to, about 55% of college students engaged in clubs or sports report being hazed at some point. Teens staying in hostels are also prone to sorority hazing and bullying in colleges.

Hazing can take many forms, all leading to tragic consequences. Here are examples of common hazing activities in colleges;

  • Asking teenage girls to wear embarrassing attire

  • Expecting new members to perform personal services such as carrying books

  • Stunt nights with degrading acts

  • Intentional sleep deprivation

  • Forced alcohol abuse

  • Threats

  • Harassment and humiliation

  • Bondage

  • Engaging in illegal activity

  • Nudity and sexual exploitation

  • Exposure to dangerous weather conditions

  • Kidnapping and abductions

  • Coerced eating

Death and serious physical injuries due to hazing are not unheard of. If your child is a victim of hazing and sorority bullying, consider hiring skilled school bullying lawyers to help during legal representation or discuss legal options regarding the hazing incident.

What Happens in Hazing?

Hazing is all about having fun at the expense of another.

Hazing in colleges involves excessive alcohol consumption and ritualized pain endurance. Hazing behaviors can range from silent games to physical abuse, and victims may not always realize that they are being hazed or bullied. Here are some signs of hazing:

  • Branding, cutting, or shaving parts of the body

  • Performing particular tasks for members

  • Being obligated to greet members in a specific manner

  • Being obligated to carry certain items

Hazing activities can affect both the victim and the individual doing the hazing. The severity of hazing ranges from mild discomfort or embarrassment to life-threatening injuries and death. In addition to physical injuries, hazing may have long-term mental consequences, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome

  • Erosion of trust among group members

  • Loss of sense of control

What is the Purpose of Hazing in Sororities and Fraternities?

Hazing acts are done to pledge, induct, and welcome new members into a closed society. The hazing rituals are set to test loyalty and endurance.

Hazing seeks to bring new members into a social group and engendering conformity. It also aims at humiliating new members to test their devotion and self-esteem and enhance bonds via shared experience.

Senior-year students undertake hazing behaviors as a way to follow certain traditions. Some organizations practice hazing as baptism to new members. Freshers may have to undergo hazing to be affiliated with a particular group.

Hazing may provide a sense of accomplishment to first-year students. They pass through challenges to develop coping skills, and their success means they can feel part of the group.

New members of fraternities may have to demonstrate their masculinity and prove that they are strong enough to join. Therefore, hazing in fraternities tends to test the ability to withstand pressure. New members who withstand the painful and rigorous induction process carry a badge of honor.

Is Hazing Illegal?

The New York State law defines hazing as all acts that intentionally or recklessly endanger the physical safety of another person during their initiation to a group. According to NY Code 120.16, hazing in the first degree, where the victim sustains physical damage or injury, is a Class A misdemeanor. Hazing in the second degree, as defined in NY Code 120.17, is a violation. It puts the victim at risk for physical injuries but does not result in an injury.

Hazing is a crime and can result in criminal charges. Hence, whenever you, your child, or someone you know suffers severe injury from hazing activities, do the following:

  • Get medical attention first: receive the necessary medical treatment, then you can focus on the legal process.
  • Collect evidence: Accumulate as much evidence as possible. For instance, gather photos of the injuries, medical reports, police reports, and eyewitness testimonies.
  • Hire a lawyer: Skilled hazing and personal injury lawyers will help you navigate the legal process, seek justice, and acquire the compensation you deserve.

There are currently no federal laws against hazing. However, the REACH Act is a proposed federal legislation to address and stop hazing on college campuses.

How to Keep College Students Safe from Hazing and Bullying?

Students can be unaware of the dangers of hazing in fraternities and sororities. Therefore, the ideal way to keep college students safe from hazing, bullying, and peer pressure is by educating them about it. Teachers and parents should talk not only about what hazing is but also about the mental and physical harm that it can cause.

Many college school students are involved in some form of campus hazing and bullying. However, parents and faculties in educational establishments can help prevent needless hazing tragedies by equipping students with the knowledge to identify hazing, understand its legal ramifications, and report it.

Encourage your child to research their sorority and sorority sisters before making any decisions. Ensure they are comfortable with all elements of the pledging process. In case of uncomfortable scenarios, allow your child to reach out to you.

College students experiencing cyberbullying can contact an internet lawyer for legal counsel and guidance.

What is the Most Common Sorority Hazing?

According to hazing stats, the most common sorority hazing behaviors on college campuses are:

  • Participating in a drinking game (53%)
  • Chanting in public in unrelated situations, games, or events (31%)
  • Drinking a large amount of alcohol until passing out (26%)


Contact Mullen Law Firm for Legal Assistance

If your college student or child has encountered severe injuries during a sorority hazing or bullying incident, the Mullen Law Firm has experienced attorneys who can help. Personal injury attorneys at our firm practice can provide compassionate legal advocacy for hazing victims in New York, New Jersey, and surrounding areas.

Contact hazing and sorority bullying attorneys at Mullen Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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