Bullying can be physical violence, verbal abuse or being cut out of social groups. It doesn't need to be physical and includes:
- abusive texts
- nasty notes put onto social networks and web sites (known as cyber-bullying)
Bullying is not a one-off incident such as a fight or when 2 equals have the odd fight or quarrel.
Bullying is an abuse of power by one or more people through repeated hurtful or aggressive behaviour with the intention of causing emotional or physical harm.
If you're being bullied
Don't suffer in silence tell someone about it. Tell a friend, a parent or a teacher at your school.
There are also a few things that you can do:
- act more confidently - people who bully will often pick people out who seem quiet and reserved
- travel home with a group of friends or get an adult to collect you at the gate - you're better protected with a group
- walk away from a fight - it's a bad idea to hit back as you may get yourself into trouble if you're provoked into a fight
If you know or see someone being bullied
If you know someone is being bullied, do something about it. By not saying or doing anything, you're letting the victim suffer for longer.
- tell them to stop doing it, without getting yourself involved in a confrontation
- tell someone else - like a teacher at your school
If you see someone actually being physically attacked, tell the police
If you're bullying others
It's often just as hard for people who have bullied others to ask for help.
Talk to a teacher, or an older person you can trust, and talk through the reasons behind your bullying.
If you want to talk to someone anonymously, try calling ChildLine.
: 0800 1111
The NSPCC will also help.
: 080 8800 5000