Skip to main content

Bullying

What is bullying?

Just in case you’re in any doubt bullying means repeated behaviour intended to hurt someone emotionally or physically. Bullies may target people they think are different because of the way they look, their size, a disability, their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Or none of these may be true.

What it looks like

What we do know is bullying takes many forms including people:

  • calling you names
  • getting you into trouble on purpose
  • hitting, biting, pinching, pushing you
  • taking things from you, including your money
  • damaging your belongings
  • spreading rumours about you which aren’t true
  • posting insulting messages about you online (cyber-bullying)
  • threatening you and making you feel scared
  • making silent or abusive phone calls to you
  • sending you offensive texts or other messages online

Bullying doesn’t just happen at school, sadly it can happen on the way to and from school, in sports team, clubs, youth groups, where you live and even at work.

What to do about it

First you have to realise bullying has nothing to do with you. It’s all about the bully and them having power over you. Often bullies have been bullied themselves, or are using their behaviour as a way of coping with situations they’re finding tough.

If the bullying is to stop, then you have to tell someone. It could be a friend, a parent or someone at school. You need to get adults involved who have the power to challenge the bully and make them stop.

It’s very hard, but try not to show you’re upset or react to the bully. If they think their behaviour isn’t hurting you, they may stop.

Bullying, particularly if it spreads online amongst your peer group can become a huge, life-changing issue and you need to share your fears with someone who understands. Check out the further information section to find places which offer help and stories of people who’ve been bullied in the past and have advice to share.

Real life stories

If you want to find out how people have got over bullying, then read Lola's story

or you can read Jack's story about how he's working with Young Minds.

Top tips for getting help

Although it can be hard, its important that you tell your parents and your teachers if you feel that you are being bullied.

Never respond to bullies, whether the bullying happens face-to-face or online.

Tell other people, as many people as you can, so you have lots of people on your side that are looking out for you.

If you’re being bullied on your phone or online then keep copies or take screenshots as evidence.

More helpful info

BullyingUK has a 'myth buster' and a short film that might be helpful to you.

The BBC has some really great resources on its website covering all aspects of bullying.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance have some really great support and advice for your people who are being bullied.

If you’re being bullied online, then take a look at any of these great websites:

Need urgent help?


Talk to someone