About bullying

What is bullying?

We can define bullying as verbally, physically and emotionally inflicting unwanted pain and suffering. Or bullying can be a forceful assertion of power or control through aggression. Bullying is deliberate behaviour and often repeated over a long time.

It can happen anywhere. And at any hour of the day. Bullying happens in the classroom, in the playground and around the school lavatories. Even at home. Often peer pressure causes for this type of behaviour. Bullying can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.

Cyberbullying is bullying which takes place online such as on chatrooms, WhatsApp, Facebook or via text messages.

Cyberbullying is cruel and non-stop. A child feels there is no escape from their ordeal. A cyber bully can target a victim via a smart phone twenty-four hours a day. Day or night provides no relief from cyberbullying.


Bullying includes:

  • Verbal abuse, such as name calling and gossiping
  • Non-verbal abuse, such as hand signs or text messages
  • Emotional abuse, such as threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone
  • Exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone
  • Undermining by constant criticism or spreading rumours
  • Controlling or manipulating someone
  • Racial, sexual or homophobic bullying
  • Physical assaults, such as hitting and pushing
  • Making silent calls, hoax or abusive calls
  • Online or cyberbullying.

Signs of bullying

It can be hard for parents to know whether a child is being deliberately bullied. Children sometimes keep quiet about bullying because they’re scared of reprisal. If I tell, will it get worse? They can believe wrongly that they deserve the treatment. And that’s it is their fault they are a victim of bullying. This is wrong.

Equally, a teacher or a parent may not be aware of the bullying. Sometimes it is difficult to spot bullying behaviour. Often bullies disguise what they are doing. But there are signs to look out for, and we list these below. They include:

  • Being afraid to go to school, being ‘sick’ too often in order to skip class
  • Belongings getting ‘lost’
  • Books and clothes being torn
  • Physical injuries such as unexplained bruises
  • Not doing as well at school
  • Asking for money to give to a bully or even stealing it
  • Being overly nervous
  • Losing confidence
  • Becoming easily distressed and withdrawn
  • Problems with eating or sleeping
  • Bullying others


Who gets bullied?

Today nearly all children asked claim to be aware of what bullying is. They might have been a victim themselves, they might bully others, or they may have witnessed bullying to others. 

Even if your child has not been a target of bullying, it’s likely they’ll know another who has. Or can name a child who bullies others.

Get involved

We’ve made quite a splash with our campaigns. But with your help, we can continue to change social attitudes on bullying and abuse wherever it occurs.

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Promoting peaceful solutions to abuse. Campaigning to influence policy, advising victims, teachers and parents. Building pro-social media support.