The Department for Education, 2007, defines bullying as:

‘Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group, physically or emotionally.’

Bullying can take lots of different forms and sometimes children and young people do not realise that what is happening to them is bullying:

  • Physical – kicking, hitting, pushing, taking and damaging belongings
  • Verbal – Name calling, taunting, mocking, making nasty comments, making threats
  • Emotional – leaving people out / deliberately ignoring, gossiping, spreading rumours
  • Cyber-bullying – bullying using text messages / phone calls, picture / video clip on phones, instant messenger, email, chatrooms, web sites / blogs.

If you are being bullied . . .

  • Tell someone that you trust
  • Don’t let them get to you
  • Walk away
  • Contact a helpline / website
  • Find out how to stop it
  • Try and stay with friends
  • Don’t walk home alone
  • Keep any proof (a diary of what has happened, texts / emails / instant messages)
  • Don’t fight back (you may get into trouble)
  • Find out your school / youth group anti-bullying policy

If you know someone is being bullied….

  • Comfort them and offer support and give them advice
  • Encourage them to tell someone
  • Tell someone yourself
  • Tell them about websites / helplines
  • Befriend them
  • Don’t join in with the bully
  • Don’t get into a fight with the bully for them

If you are a bully . . .

  • Admit you’re doing it
  • Try to stop it
  • Get help
  • Think about how the victim feels
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to someone

Possible consequences:

  • The Police could get involved
  • It could result in formal police action such as police reprimand, final warning, or even a court appearance
  • Suspension / exclusion from school
  • Loss of respect of friends and family
  • Impact on future career if expelled or if you go to court and get a record

If you have been affected by bullying and would like to access support you can contact Connexions and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We can respond by email, telephone or arrange for you to see a Connexions Personal Adviser. (It would help if you include your name and phone number, but do not be put off if you feel like you do not want to include this.)