What is bullying?
Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.
Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via social media or the internet). Bullying is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups. Examples are bullying on grounds of race, religion, belief, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability, or because you are in care, have caring responsibilities or mental health issues. Bullying might be motivated by actual differences, perceived differences or as a result of association with someone else.
(This information is based on - Preventing and Tackling Bullying, Advice for Head Teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies, from the Department for Education)
What to do if you are being bullied
Our 'Say no to bullying leaflet' has been developed by young people for you. It explains how to get help if you are being bullied.
- Download our Say no to bullying leaflet (PDF 681KB) How to get help
- Remember it's the bullies who have a problem, not the people they target. You really aren't on your own - unfortunately bullying is common. People get through it, and so will you. But it's got to stop.
- It may get worse before it gets better, but you need to take action to help yourself.
- Try to avoid retaliating with violence or verbal abuse as this may make the situation worse.
- Speak out. You have the right to live without being tormented.
- Keep a diary of what happens. It'll help you decide what to do. It should also stop you missing out anything important and help show you're telling the truth.
Cyber bullying, texts and phones calls
- If you're being bullied through texts or phone calls, save messages and call records if you have space in your phone. If not, write down the time of the call/text, what was said/written and the caller/sender's number if you have it. And don't reply to any texts - it's just what the bully wants.
- If you're being bullied online, don't respond to nasty comments. But as before, keep a record of everything you get sent by screen-shotting or saving the messages.
Who should I tell?
As many people as you can. Sometimes just having things out in the open can be enough to make bullies stop. If it's at school, any of your teachers should be able to help (your school should have an anti-bullying policy). If you can't tell your teachers, ask a parent or another adult to speak to them for you. You and your parent and carer may find the bullying in schools page helpful in supporting you.
Read our information for parents and carers about working with schools to resolve bullying issues
There are also a range of local services and support that you can access:
National charities that can help
If you don't trust any adult enough, you can contact these national charities for support:
Information on cyber-bullying and internet safety
Do you think you are a bully? Read the are you a bully advice on the BBC website.
Are you a cyber-bully? Get your cyber-score on the stop cyber bullying website.