Bullying has no legal definition. But repeated behaviour that has the intention of harming you is bullying. This can be aimed at groups of people or at an individual.
How can bullying be expressed?
  • Anywhere and about anything
  • Online
  • Picking on someone 
  • Name calling
  • Making threats
  • Teasing
  • Physical assault
Top Tips
  1. Tell someone about it. A friend, a teacher, your parents or carers, or a trusted adult. If you feel you can't speak to a teacher, you could ask a friend to do it for you. 
  2. Remember it's not your fault.
  3. Keep evidence. Keep a record of what is happening and when. Save photos, texts and social media posts. 
  4. Don't retaliate. Think of other ways you can respond. Calmly say 'I don't like it when you say or do that'. 
  5. Hang around with people who make you feel good about yourself. 
  6. Be kind to yourself. Do things you enjoy. Look after your wellbeing and keep active. 
  7. Visit our 'Help I'm in Crisis' page for advice on who to call for immediate advice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell someone?

  • Speak out to someone you trust: parent or carer, family member, teacher, doctor, nurse, friend or any trusted adult.

  • This may be hard sometimes so there are also many helplines that can be called to offer advice and support.

What if someone is posting things about me online?

Online bullying can feel harder to escape than offline bullying. Fortunately, the major social media platforms come with tools for blocking other users and reporting abuse. 

  • Take screen shots of all posts, photographs or videos posted online about you

  • Don't reply to them 

  • Report what's happened on the site or app

  • Block the people bullying you

  • Tell someone you trust

How can I help a friend who is being bullied?

  • Don't comment on social media posts. It can make things worse. It can encourage the bullies to reply or say nasty things back. 

  • You can help by reporting bullying posts on social media. Show and help your friend block people. 

  • Support your friend. Talk to them and let them know you're there for them. Do things you both enjoy together to take their mind off the bullying. 

  • If your friend doesn't feel confident enough to tell a trusted adult or teacher, you could do it for them. 

Should I tell my parents or carers?

In most cases, yes. They will try to help you. 

However, if it is the case that you are being bullied by parents, carers, or family members then speak out to someone you trust to get help or call one of the helplines below. 

How to get help without my parents?

In most cases, yes. They will try to help you. 

However, if it is the case that you are being bullied by parents, carers, or family members then speak out to someone you trust to get help or call one of the helplines below. 

How to get help without my parents?

  • Speak to a teacher, a friend or a trusted adult

  • Speak to your GP if it is affecting how you feel 

Will confronting my bully help?

This is a difficult question to answer. It is different in each situation.

Ask for advice first from a close friend or trusted adult. 

Sometimes it can help to say if you want somone to stop picking on you.

Sometimes it can help to call it out. 

It can be more difficult to recognise bullying if it is by one of your own friends but its important to call it out. Sometimes friends don't mean to hurt you. They may think its just a joke. It's important to let them know if you feel hurt. 

There is a difference between confronting your bully by asking them calmly to stop their behaviour and retaliating.

Don't retaliate as it usually makes things worse. 

Futher support

Childline is a free, private and confidential service where you can be you, whatever your worry, whenever you need help, and however you want to get in touch. Call on 0800 1111.
Samaritians - Whatever you're going through, call free any time, from any phone, on 116 123. They're there for you, whatever your age. You can talk to them about whatever is on your mind, they'll listen. This might include how you look, problems at school or college or how people are treating you.
The Mix - Whether you want a quick chat or more focused help, the team is here to help young people with mental health, relationships, work life, school life, depression and any other issues all year round. Call 0808 808 4994 between 4pm and 11pm every day, email them, chat one to one online, sign up for free counselling or text THEMIX on 85258 for free 24 hours a day crisis support.
Kooth is an online counselling and emotional well being platform for children and young people. 10 to 18 year olds can chat one to one with counsellors, access self help articles and connect with peers through live moderated forums. 
Read Young Mind's advice about bullying
Advice from Mind on talking therapy, counselling and how to find a therapist. 
 The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign Support Centre offers advice and support for a variety of bullying issues for young people. Check out their support centre, with helpful advice about dealing with bullying in a wide range of situations, detailed information about staying safe on different social media sites, and links to useful support lines if you need to talk to someone.
Read what the government says about bullying at school.
Written by Emilia age 17 from Leeds
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