Worried about bullying?

Bullying can happen anywhere. At school, at home or online. It is behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time, which is intended to hurt someone physically or emotionally.


  • hurts or upsets someone
  • targets someone and leaves them feeling powerless to stop it
  • happens on purpose
  • happens more than once.

Bullying can take many forms:

  • Verbal – being called nasty names, being teased and made fun of, being threatened or put down
  • Physical  – being hit, kicked, punched, tripped up, knocked down, or being forced to do things you don’t want to do
  • Emotional – having rumours or gossip spread about you, people talking about you behind your back, being excluded or isolated
  • Online – having hurtful or embarrassing things posted online, getting nasty messages or being threatened online through apps such as Snapchat or Instagram. Someone using a fake profile on a social network to make fun of others. Targeting someone by misusing personal images or targeting someone by misuse of private, explicit images including sexual images.


Some people may say that bullying is just banter, but banter is when everyone is in on the joke and enjoys it. It is not banter when it doesn’t stop if someone is hurt, upset, offended or excluded.

Dealing with bullying

People bully others when they want to feel powerful and prove something to themselves and others. But no one has the right to bully you, and you don’t have to deal with it alone. Although it can be hard to tell someone what’s happening, there are plenty of people and organisations who can help you. Telling someone will help you take control of the situation and not feel powerless. There are also some great ways to stand up for yourself. Kidscape has some great advice on using assertiveness.

Challenge bullying

If you see or know someone is being bullied, you can help. Report it to a teacher or your family. Talk to the person being bullied, offer support and encourage them to get help. Be their friend and never join in or share any rumours, posts, pictures or comments.

Don't be a bully

There are lots of reasons why people bully others. So if you’re bullying someone, it’s worth trying to understand why. Thinking about the impact of your behaviour is so important and asking for help to change your behaviour is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.

Where can I get help?

The best thing you can do is talk to an adult you trust, such as a family member or teacher. This may seem difficult but it can make a real difference. Secondly, check out these links below. If you need immediate confidential support, call:

  • Childline – open 24 hrs. Free phone number: 0800 1111
  • MEIC – open 8am – midnight 7 days a week. Free phone number: 0808 80 23456 or you can text 84001


Someone to talk to


Bullying can happen anywhere and be about anything. We’ve got advice about different types of bullying, and how you can get help and support.

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Someone on your side. Information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people.

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Being bullied or concerned about someone who is? Get help and support from our e-mentoring service: mentorsonline@bulliesout.com

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The Mix

Support service helpline for under 25s.

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Info and advice


Kidscape provides children, families, carers and professionals with advice, training and practical tools to prevent bullying and protect young lives.

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Staying safe online

Advice on protecting your privacy, online dating, cyberbullying and more.

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BBC iWonder - Are you a Bully?

Makes you think about how your words or actions can make other people feel.

Watch video

The Anti-Bullying Alliance

Website with lots of helpful websites and phone numbers.

Visit website