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Bullying and cyberbullying can happen to anyone. Name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone is not okay, whether it happens at school, at home or online. The effects of bullying can be prolonged and can affect someone's emotional and mental wellbeing.
If you think someone is bullying you (or someone you know) and you are worried or frightened, tell someone you trust exactly what is happening or contact the National Bullying Helpline.
Cyber bullying is any form of bullying which takes place online or through smartphones and tablets. Help and advice is available from Bullying UK
There are people who can help you. Talk to parents, family members, friends, teachers, sport or activity leaders or whoever you feel comfortable sharing your experiences and feelings with.
If you want to talk to someone in confidence that doesn't know you, there are organisations that can help.
Call 0800 1111 you’ll get through to a counsellor, they’re there to listen and support you with anything you’d like to talk about. You can also chat to a 1-2-1 counsellor online or sign up to Message Board where you can safely discuss things with others in similar situations.
call 0808 800 5000 and speak to someone in confidence
call 0300 323 0169 or 0845 225 5787 ( 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)
Advice on how you can tell someone and get help
some forms of bullying are illegal and should be reported to the police.
ZAP Community workshops are free assertiveness workshops for young people aged 9-16 and their parents and carers
Signs of bullying
- belongings getting 'lost' or damaged
- physical injuries, such as unexplained bruises
- being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously 'ill' each morning, or skipping school
- not doing as well at school
- asking for, or stealing, money (to give to whoever's bullying them)
- being nervous, losing confidence, or becoming distressed and withdrawn
- problems with eating or sleeping
- bullying others.
Top tips to cope with bullying
- Talk to someone you trust about what is happening to you
- If you don't want to talk to parents, family members, teachers contact Childline and talk in confidence to a trained counsellor
- Try to have a "safe space" where you can relax and feel safe. Do an activity or sport where you can be yourself and be with others who boost your confidence and self esteem. Hang out with friends that like you and want to be with you.
- Call out bullies and bullying. Report any type of bullying, anything that happens physically and online.
- If you experience any form of abuse around your gender, sexuality, skin colour, disability, or faith this is a hate crime and is against the law. You must report any hate crime to the police.
When your child is being bullied at school, it can be very stressful and confusing on what steps to take to get the bullying to stop. You can find advice on contacting the school, next steps if school does not resolve the bullying with template letters, supporting your child if bullies have taken their friends away, moving schools and more.
Children can sometimes behave in a way that hurts others, either physically or emotionally. Getting your child to understand that certain behaviours are not acceptable is important.
They may not realise their behaviour has upset someone or that they are bullying.
Top tips if your child is bullying
- Explain that what they are doing or saying is upsetting and talk through how people feel when they are bullied.
- Tell them their behaviour is unacceptable
- Talk about when they have felt unhappy or sad and help them realise this is how they are making someone else feel with their behaviour
- Explain what can happen if their behaviour continues, talking to their teacher, sanctioning them in some way
- Ask them if they have any questions about bullying and why their behaviour has to change