Bullying doesn't stop after high school graduation, and the proof is in a survey that finds millions of U.S. employees affected by bullying in the workplace.

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The national survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute found 27 percent of workers are, or have been, a victim of "abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or verbal abuse."

More than 70 percent are aware that workplace bullying is an actual problem. About the same percentage of employers, however, were found to deny or even encourage the practice.

Chad Ruff, a certified member of thebullyexpert.com, noted that while everyone grows older, not everyone grows up. That's why "workplace bullying" is a term in the first place.

Unfortunately for adult victims, Ruff said, there are not as many people to turn to for help. Children in school have their parents or principal, but adults are dealing with a group of peers in the same age group.

"It would be difficult to go to a boss about the bullying issue, especially if they're the one doing the bullying," Ruff said.

Bosses were responsible for more than 56 percent of the bullying in the survey. Co-workers amounted for another third, and the rest was happening from the bottom up.

"It could be the need of power," Ruff said. "Or there's something in their life that they're lacking, and for them to feel good they want to actually bully another person."

Workers can avoid the threat of bullying by not making themselves targets, according to Ruff. Dress well, speak loudly and clearly, and make eye contact during conversations.

Males overwhelmingly ruled the pool of bullies in the survey, and females were the primary target.

In the survey, 93 percent of respondents favored enactment of the Healthy Workplace Bill, to set some legal prohibitions against bullying.