What is bullying?
If somebody physically 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.
Get help for bullying
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 Facebook and other social media platforms. 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 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.
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.
Text YM to 85258
Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.
All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.
Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.
- Opening times:
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:
- 9am - midnight, 365 days a year