Bullying can happen to anyone at any age. Being bullied at school, home or online might involve someone pushing you, hitting you, teasing you, talking about you or calling you names. Nobody has the right to hurt you or make you feel bad. If you are being bullied you don't have to deal with it alone.
What is Bullying?
Bullying can mean different things:
- being called names
- being teased, put down or humiliated
- being pushed or pulled about
- having money and other stuff taken
- having rumours spread about you
- being ignored and left out
- being hit, kicked or physically hurt
- being threatened or intimidated
- being bullied through your phone or online
Bullying can also be part of other forms of abuse, including neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
Bullying is nasty and can really affect how you feel about yourself and whether you want to get involved in activities both inside and outside of school. Visit childline for more advice around improving your confidence and practising how to stand up for yourself.
What should I do if I am being bullied?
Tell someone that you can trust. Make sure you share your worries with a parent, friend, teacher or a relative. The best way to protect yourself from being bullied is to tell someone so that you can get help. Don’t ignore bullying – it won’t go away on its own and it may get worse. If talking to someone face to face worries you then you can text, email or phone someone. If you don’t feel comfortable telling someone you know, you can call Childline 0800 1111 and they will listen and give you advice.
You can find lots more advice here
Online bullying (also know as cyber bullying) is when a person or a group of people use the internet , email, online games or any other kind of digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate you.
Your digital footprint is the mark you leave behind when using the internet. This can be positive and negative and determines how people see you in the future. Below are some great ideas on what you can do online to check you are being safe and having a positive digital footprint.
- People can hide their identity online and make us believe they are something they are not, from online gaming to social media. It might sound very obvious, but if we don’t know them we shouldn’t add them, even if you have friends in common. Take care about the personal information given out online.
- Regularly check your social media accounts. Delete accounts you are not using, think before you post, it's ok delete or block people we are unsure of, check privacy settings and don’t post things of your friends without their permission.
- Using your location on apps can be a very helpful tool (e.g. Google maps) where you can find a venue, street or house within seconds. However, using social media and giving out your location can be very dangerous. For example when using Snapchat maps, turn on ghost mode or only share your location with friends and people you know well, not strangers. The more people we add online that we don’t know, the greater danger we risk.
- Do you know what there is about you online? Do a simple web search of your name and see what you can find. If things appear online about you via social media or YouTube you need to have a look at this. You can stop this by happening by looking at your privacy settings.
Many of us sign up to social media accounts or apps without reading what we are signing up for. Be careful as there is no such thing as 'for free'. WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube make money by selling our information, the filters you use and what you click on. 75% of free mobile apps store and sell our information.
The simplified terms and conditions from the Children’s Commissioner explain what companies actually do with our data. If you have a free app on your phone you have not used for a while, delete it. Strict privacy settings will not stop companies selling our information, however privacy settings should always be reviewed.
Remember, everything we put online stays online. You should be proud of the things you put online.
Who can I talk to?
It's really important to tell an adult that you trust (such as a parent or teacher) if you feel you can.
- Childline - free and confidential advice from counsellors
- Childline - online mobile safety advice
- Rise above - online stress advice and support
- CEOP - a national body can offer help and advice and case studies for young people