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.
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 the 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:
These things can happen at school or at home, but they can also happen online or on social networks. Bullying can also be part of other forms of abuse, including neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.