What is bullying?
If somebody repeatedly hurts you, or verbally abuses you, that’s bullying.
Specific types of bullying include:
- homophobic bullying based on your sexual orientation
- racist bullying because of your skin colour or ethnicity
- religious bullying because of your beliefs or faith.
- sizeist bullying referring to your body size
- sexist bullying focusing on you being of the opposite sex
- cyberbullying targeting you online, often anonymously
- bullying because you are different
Bullying can be a one-off or it can go on for a long time. And bullying can happen to anyone.
No matter how alone you might feel, there is always someone you can talk to and someone who can help.
Talking to someone about being bullied
Ignoring bullying won’t make it go away. You need to tell someone about what is happening.
If the bullying is happening at school
Talk to your parents or carers and your teacher. Your teacher may have no idea that you are being bullied, and the school will have an anti-bullying policy to tackle it.
If you feel you can’t speak to your teacher, maybe a friend can do it for you. You can also speak to a school counsellor, welfare officer or nurse.
In extreme cases, if bullying is interfering with your education it may be possible for you to change schools if it doesn’t stop once you have reported it.
If the bullying is happening outside school
Talk to your parents or carers, close relatives such as grandparents, aunties and uncles, or even your friends’ parents. Youth workers and leaders may be able to help too.
If the bullying is happening online
Tell a trusted adult – your parents or carers, or a teacher. You can report abusive posts on social media platforms. Find out how to do this with Childline's instructions. You can also report abuse to CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre).
Keep reporting the bullying until it stops. It may not stop the first time you tell your parents or teacher and they try to stop it. If the bullying continues, tell them again. Don’t put up with it. No one deserves to be bullied.
Tips on bullying from young people like you
Your worth and who you are as a person is not defined by other people. Be yourself and you will flourish! I know it's so hard right now and everything feels like it's against you but please speak out and tell someone. Letting it out will make you feel so much better.
You are worth so much more than you think. Being bullied is scary, painful and really hard - but you don’t have to suffer in silence. Speak to someone you trust to let them know what is happening and together, you can work to make it better.
Bullying is not your fault, and things can get better.
Cyberbullying is when someone bullies you online. This could look like them posting mean content about you on social media, commenting nasty things on your posts, or them sending you upsetting content. Online bullying can be just as upsetting as bullying in person and it is never okay.
If you're being upset in any way online, speak to an adult you trust, like a teacher, a parent or a faith leader. Even if it seems like a small thing, it can really help to talk things through with someone else. They can also help you take steps to make the bullying stop.
Below are some more tips that can help you to have a better time online.
Block or mute someone
If you’re finding someone’s posts upsetting, you can block them so that you don’t see them anymore. Or, if you don’t feel able to block someone, try muting them instead. They won’t know you’ve muted them and you won’t have to see their posts or messages.
Report posts and messages
If someone’s harassing or bullying you online, you can report their posts.
Read Childline’s instructions on how to report posts and messages on different social media platforms.
Change your privacy settings
Try changing your privacy settings on your social networks to limit what others can see on your profile.
Get help now
Whatever you're going through, you don't have to go through it alone. Here are some organisations who can support you.
If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.
Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.
Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.
- Opening times:
Free, short-term online counselling for young people aged 25 or under. Their website also provides lots of information and advice about mental health and wellbeing.
Email support is available via their online contact form.
They have a free 1-2-1 webchat service available during opening hours.
- Opening times:
- 4pm - 11pm, Monday - Friday
If you're a parent or carer
Whether you love the page or think something is missing, we appreciate your feedback. It all helps us to support more young people with their mental health.
Please be aware that this form isn’t a mental health support service. If you are in crisis right now and want to talk to someone urgently, find out who to contact on our urgent help page.