Bullying can be quite difficult to describe, and people often have trouble knowing what is bullying and what isn’t!
In general, it is something done on purpose with the aim of hurting or upsetting someone else. It’s also a repeated action. You might call someone a name because you are angry with them – that’s not bullying. But if you use that name again and again because you know it hurts them – that’s bullying.
These are some ways children and young people have described bullying:
being called names
being pushed or pulled around
having money and other possessions taken or messed around with
having rumours spread about you
being ignored and left out
If this is happening to you in person or online, then you might think that it’s your fault. It isn’t. No-one has the right to bully you. If you speak out about it, there are people who care – they will listen to you and help you.
I’m too scared to go to school – what should I do?
No-one has the right to stop you from going to school. Try taking a quiet moment to talk to someone you trust and tell them about the problem. That could be a teacher or someone else you feel comfortable talking to. They can get in touch with your school and work out a way to help you.
If I do what they want, will they stop?
If someone’s bullying you, then going along with it will just let them know that what they’re doing is working, and they will keep doing it. Try to talk to someone who can help to make it stop.
How can I protect myself?
The best way to protect yourself is to tell someone so that you can get some help. If you try to fight back, you might make the situation worse or get into trouble yourself.
Is it my fault?
People who abuse others often try and make the person feel as if it’s their fault. It’s not. No-one has the right to bully you.
If I talk to ChildLine, who will find out?
No-one else will know what you have said to your ChildLine counsellor unless you want them to. It’s completely confidential. Your ChildLine counsellor will only take action if they feel that it’s an emergency.