What is Bullying?
Bullying is wrong and it affects the victim, impacts on our friends and family and the wider community, but also affects the perpetrator.
It is important that you do not struggle alone when you are being bullied, always tell a person who you can trust. This will then help you to access the support and guidance that you may need during a difficult time.
The Government’s definition of bullying is: “Behaviour by an individual or group usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.”
The websites and resources below have been put together to help you to get more information, help and advice.
Signs your child is being bullied
Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewellery
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviours such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.
Signs a Child is Bullying Others
Kids may be bullying others if they:
- Get into physical or verbal fights
- Have friends who bully others
- Are increasingly aggressive
- Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
- Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
- Blame others for their problems
- Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
- Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Bullying related to race, religion or culture
ChildLine’s website has a section on racism and what you can do if you encounter racist bullying.
Bullying of young people with a learning disability
Don’t Stick it, Stop It! , set up by Mencap, campaigns against the bullying of young people with learning disabilities.
Homophobic and transphobic bullying
EACH is a charity for young people and adults affected by homophobia and transphobia. It has a telephone helpline for young people who are experiencing homophobic or transphobic bullying. You can call the EACH actionline on 0808 1000 143 on weekdays, 9am to 5pm. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.
Stonewall is a charity that campaigns for equal rights for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people. Its Education for All campaign tackles homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools across the UK. On the Education for All website you can find case studies and facts and figures about homophobic bullying in schools, as well as advice for young people and teachers.
Bullying of young carers
A Carers Trust survey in 2013 found a quarter of the young adult carers they spoke to had been bullied at school because of their caring role.
Cyberbullying uses technology to bully people. Find out how to deal with cyberbullying.
This isn’t a full list. You can find many more anti-bullying organisations on the Anti-Bullying Alliance website, which contains all the important sources of anti-bullying information and support. Remember, you can call ChildLine in confidence on 0800 1111 to talk about any type of bullying.
Getting your confidence back after bullying
Being bullied can dent anyone’s confidence, but there are tips you can follow to feel better about yourself.
Listed below are organisations that offer advice for children and young people on ways to boost how well you cope with difficult situations.
- ChildLine: how to build your confidence and self-esteem
- ChildLine: standing up for yourself
- Mind – Confidence and self-esteem