Upgrade to Chrome Upgrade to Firefox Upgrade to Internet Explorer Upgrade to Safari

Help & Information

What is Bullying?

Bullying is like a dark cloud that hovers over the sunny days of your childhood and adolescence. It’s when someone repeatedly and intentionally hurts, excludes, or intimidates you. It can happen anywhere: at school, online, or even in your own neighborhood.

Bullying can mean many different things and most people describe being bullied as the most ‘awful thing that has ever happened to them’. Whilst bullying behaviour is widespread throughout schools, it can happen anywhere and to anyone.

The Definition

As members of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, along with its other members, we have an agreed shared definition of bullying based on research from across the world over the last 30 years:

Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online.

Imagine you’re at school, excited to see your friends and learn new things. But then there’s this one person—or maybe a group of people—who always seem to pick on you. They might call you names, spread rumours, or make fun of you in front of others. It’s not just harmless teasing; it’s designed to make you feel small, vulnerable, and alone.

Bullying IS NOT part of growing up. One incident of bullying behaviour is serious enough, but when it is persistent it becomes a devastating problem. The detrimental impact bullying behaviour can have on your physical, emotional, academic, social and personal well-being of children and young people cannot be underestimated. At best, bullying causes great distress which can continue right through adulthood. At worst, bullying can lead to self-harm and suicide.

Types of bullying behaviour can include:

  • Verbal abuse, such as, name calling, gossiping and threats
  • Physical assaults, such as, hitting, kicking, pushing
  • Emotional abuse, such as, threats, intimidation, humiliation
  • Exclusion, such as, ignoring or isolating someone
  • Non-verbal abuse, such as, hand gestures or text messages
  • Racial, sexual or homophobic abuse
  • Controlling or manipulating someone
  • Undermining a person by spreading rumours or constant criticism
  • Making silent, hoax or abusive calls
  • Sending nasty emails or text messages
  • Online abuse using email, websites, social media, blogs, messaging

Bullying behaviour isn’t always obvious. It can be subtle, like leaving you out of activities or giving you mean looks when the teacher isn’t watching. And with the rise of social media, it can follow you home, invading your safe space and making you feel like there’s no escape.

The effects of bullying behaviour can be devastating. It can chip away at your self-esteem, making you doubt your self-worth and abilities. It can also lead to emotional and physical health problems. And because it often happens over a long period of time, it can feel like you’re trapped in a never-ending nightmare.

But remember, you’re not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help. Whether it’s a trusted adult, a friend, or our support services, reaching out for support is the first step toward putting an end to the bullying. And remember, bullies thrive on power and attention. By standing up for yourself and refusing to let their words and actions define you, you take away their power and reclaim control over your own life.

Read on…

Return to Website

Need to talk?

If you are being bullied or are concerned about someone who is, you can receive help and support from one of our trained Mentors through our e-mentoring service.

If you would like a Mentor to email you, please contact: mentorsonline@bulliesout.com

If you would rather speak to someone over the telephone, you can call Childline on: 0800 1111

For any community-related issues, such as anti-social behaviour, we would suggest contacting your landlord, the local police or your local environmental health department (where applicable), as we are unable to deal with these types of complaints.