Anti-bullying primary
Anti-bullying primary

Bullying can happen to anyone, no matter how old they are, where they live or what they look like. Bullying can make a person feel sad, angry and alone. Sometimes children don’t tell anyone they are being bullied because they are scared of making it worse, or because their bully has warned them not to, but telling a trusted adult is the most important thing you can do if you or someone else is being bullied.

Bullying is different than teasing, having an argument or falling out with someone. Bullying is when someone does something mean and nasty on purpose, more than once. There are lots of different types of bullying, including:

  • Physical Bullying – for example, hitting, kicking or punching someone.
  • Verbal Bullying – using words to hurt someone, such as calling them nasty names or making fun of the way a person looks.
  • Indirect Bullying – sometimes this is called emotional bullying and involves hurting someone’s feelings, without doing it face to face. This might include spreading nasty rumours about someone, or leaving them out on purpose.
  • Cyber Bullying – using computers, phones and other technologies to bully, such as sending nasty text messages or mean emails, writing horrible comments on someone’s Facebook page or other social networking site, or setting up a hate website about a person.

People bully for lots of reasons. Sometimes they bully because they are jealous of someone else, or perhaps because they have been bullied themselves. Some bullies feel sad and angry about other things in their lives, and so they take it out on others. Bullies need help too, which is why it’s important to tell someone if you know bullying is happening, so adults can make it stop and help everyone to feel better.

If you are being bullied there are lots of things you can do:

  • Tell someone you trust, such as your mum or dad, grandparent, teacher or an older brother or sister.
  • Save any nasty text messages or emails you receive and show them to your teacher or someone at home.
  • Try not to say or do something back to the bully. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and you might end up getting into trouble.
  • Try and avoid being on your own if you don’t feel safe, until the problem has been sorted out. Ask a friend to stay with you at break times and lunch times, or when walking to and from school.


You can also report incidents of bullying online using CABBS – the Child Abuse Anti-Bullying System. CABBY, the friendly helper, can support you to tell someone about what’s going on and to make the bullying stop.