BULLYING

What is it?

Whether you are a boy or a girl, old or young, big or small – bullying makes you feel down and like you don’t belong. Don’t worry. It’s okay to be upset about it. Sometimes it may even make you feel frightened or threatened.

If you are being bullied you have to remember that it is never your fault. It doesn’t matter whether you have a different skin colour or a different fashion sense. Everyone is different in some way and that’s what makes us unique and amazing.

The important thing to remember is that no-one has the right to make you feel like that. You don’t have to sort this out on your own – there are lots of people who can help you.

What are the different types?

Bullying happens when people look different and have a different image to other people. There are lots of reasons why people are bullied. Some of these are:-
• Due to your race
• Due to your faith and / or religion
• If you have a disability
• If you have a different sexual orientation such as lesbian, gay, bi or transgender
• If you look, walk or talk in a different way (known as Perceived Difference)
• If you have a learning difficulty or are gifted/talented
• If you are a Child in Care or Young Carer
• or just because you are you (as sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a reason at all!) like body shaming

Bullying can be verbal which means that the bully is saying horrible things either to you or about you like spreading rumours. It can also be physical, through actions or online (cyber).

How do I identify it?

Bullying is behaviour that upsets someone else – such as name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.
Bullying can happen anywhere – at school, on the way home, at the shop or the park (anywhere outside), at home or online. It’s usually repeated over time. It can hurt a person in more than one way so you could feel both physically and emotionally hurt. It can be when you’re left out of things on a regular basis.

Remember – there is no such thing as a typical bully or a typical person who is being bullied. Bullies can be a single boy or girl or a group of boys or girls. Boys are also bullied as much as girls so need to find ways to keep themselves safe too. Bullies can also be your friends and family members.

Having a laugh and bullying are two very different things. They cause different situations and create different feelings in a person. Use the diagram below to help you work out if you are being teased (banter), if it’s a mean moment, if there is conflict or if you are being bullied.

bullying

Who can help?

You can talk to an adult that you trust like a family member, carer or a teacher. You can also talk to a trusted friend and if you have peer mentors in school then talk to them too. They can support you to talk to an adult or are there as a listening ear if you need advice. If you don’t want to do that you can always call Childine on 0800 1111 or visit the Childline website.

Things you might find useful to try

• Write down what happened, when it happened and who was involved. If the bullying is online, keep the evidence – save or copy any photos, videos, e-mails or posts. Screenshot texts and messages on Snapchat etc. You could then share this with someone you trust and/or use it to report it.
• It can be tempting if you are being bullied to take revenge – for example to send a horrible message back to someone. This is not a good idea – you might end up getting in trouble or get yourself even more hurt.
• Think about other ways you can respond to bullying. For example, practice ‘standing tall’ (shoulders back, head held high) and walking away confidently (no looking back!). Think about other people who can help you if you are being bullied – this could be other classmates, or a teacher.
• Only spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. If someone constantly puts you down they are not a real friend and not worth your time.
• Be kind to yourself. Do things that make you feel good, relax and make new friends. You might make music; write lyrics; draw cartoons; dance; act or join a sports club. This is your life so make sure it’s the best life possible – don’t let anyone bring you down. Visit the Positive Activities website to find out what is on in your area.

Just a thought..

Remember to respect other people! Just because someone is different to you and your friends – that doesn’t mean you are better than them or have a right to make them feel bad. If you make mistakes, say sorry. You don’t have to be friends with everyone – but you should always make it clear that bullying is not acceptable.

What services are available?

ChildLine is the UK’s free, confidential helpline for children and young people. They offer advice and support, by phone and online, 24 hours a day. Whenever and wherever you need them, they’ll be there. Call 0800 1111.

Childline website have a designated page for bullying issues. This includes tips on identifying bullying, a new video about building up your confidence after bullying and a new art box tool where you can draw out how you are feeling.

EACH
EACH has a freephone Actionline for children experiencing homophobic bullying: 0808 1000 143. It’s open Monday to Friday 10am-5.00pm. View website

Other websites that you might find useful are:-

Kidscape
Kidscape is committed to keeping children safe from abuse. Kidscape is the first charity in the UK established specifically to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse. Kidscape believes that protecting children from harm is key. View website

Ditch the Label
Ditch the Label is a new anti-bullying charity for teenagers. It uses up to date social media to smash stereotypes and spread the message that there is no such thing as a label. For top tips to overcome bullying in the teenage years and inspirational stories visit View website

Shelf Help

The Shelf Titles are part of a national scheme aimed at improving emotional health and well-being.

The library service can lend you books to support your emotional well-being. The Shelf Help booklist is aimed at young people, and offers advice about issues such as bullying and exams, as well as mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress and OCD. The titles have been chosen and endorsed by professionals. Copies of the titles are available for loan from the Central Library. More details can be found on the library web pages.