There is no legal definition of bullying but it is usually defined as repeated behaviour intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically. It is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or their appearance or disability.
Bullying Can Be:
- By one person or group, repeatedly.
- Repeated and intentional hurting of one person by others, for example:
- By different people at different times (some people are vulnerable to bullying for example because they are disabled or from a minority ethnic group)
- Face to face, via text messages or the internet (cyberbullying).
- Direct physical bullying (for example pushing, punching, kicking).
- Direct verbal bullying (for example name-calling, insulting, threatening).
- Indirect bullying or social bullying (for example social exclusion, spreading rumours, disclosing secrets to other people).
If You Are Being Bullied:
- Remember it’s not your fault and there are people who can help you. Don’t blame yourself for what has happened.
- Be firm and clear – look them in the eye and tell them to stop.
- Get away from the situation as quickly as possible.
- If the bullying is happening in a school or club, tell a member of staff straight away. If you are scared to tell a member of staff on your own, ask a friend to go with you.
- Tell a member of your family.
- Keep on speaking out until someone listens.
Kidscape have produced an excellent leaflet for young
people called ‘You Can Beat Bullying’, with plenty of practical advice on what
you can do.
They have also written another more general leaflet called
‘Stop Bullying’ with advice for children and young people, parents and staff.
When You Are Talking About Bullying With a Member of Staff, Be Clear About:
- What has happened to you.
- How often it has happened.
- Who was involved and who saw what was happening.
- Where it happened.
- What you have done about it already.
If You Talk To a Member of Staff, You Can Expect:
- To be listened to.
- To be taken seriously and not to have your concerns dismissed.
- Confidentiality to be respected wherever possible. (Discuss this first if this is important to you).
- Practical advice if you request it.
- Action to be taken (after discussion with you) in line with your school’s or club's Anti-Bullying policy.
- A range of responses to be available in your school or club which can take your situation into account.
- The situation to be monitored, in agreement with you.