Bullying and cyberbullying can happen to anyone, at school, at home or online. Name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours or disrespecting someone is not okay. The effects of bullying can go on for a long time and make you feel scared and alone. Talking to someone is really important. Find the help and information you need to beat the bully.
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 for victims of cyberbullying.
Who can help?
Talk to parents, family, friends, teachers, sport or activity leaders. Share your thoughts and feelings with people you are comfortable with, who will listen to you in a safe place.
If you want to talk to someone 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
Family Lives advice, information and resources on bullying
Call 116 123 for free and talk to someone in confidence
organisations united against bullying
Talking about bullying
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.
Advice for parents
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.
Tips on talking to teachers to get the bullying to stop, template letters, how to support your child if bullies have taken their friends away, moving schools and more.
My child is bullying
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
What makes a good friend?
Friends should make you happy and feel good about yourself. They say nice things about you. They are positive and happy about what you do and say. They support you and try to help you. They listen to you and don't interrupt you when you are talking. They are interested in what you say.
They accept you for who you are and your beliefs, your values, your interests. They won't share things you say in private. They don't talk about you behind your back. You can rely on a good friend.
Good friends make each other feel great. Having more than one good friend is important. Don't limit yourself to one "best friend". You only need a small circle of friends. Followers on social media are not always friends.
Making friends can be challenging. Join a club or society. Enjoy sport or activities with others. Volunteer in the community or at school. Introduce yourself to new people at school.
Being yourself in a friendship is important, so if someone is pressuring you to be someone you are not, end the friendship. Be positive and remember good friendships will take time to develop but that's okay.