Staying Safe

What to do about bullying

Schoolgirl walkingWhat to do about bullying

Whether you or someone you know is being bullied, make sure you tell someone who you trust what's going on. There are also a number of things you can do if you're bullying others and you want to stop it.

If you're being bullied

The first thing that you should do if you're being bullied is to tell someone about it. You shouldn't suffer in silence. You can tell a friend, a parent or a teacher at your school.

There are also a few things that you can do yourself that may make a person who bullies think twice about picking on you.

You could try acting a bit more confidently - people who bully will often pick people out who seem quiet and reserved, so if you look like you're full of self-belief, it's likely they'll leave you alone.

If you get bullied on your way home from school, walk home with a group of friends or get an adult to collect you at the gate. It may sound embarrassing, but you'll be better protected if you're with a group of people.

Don't hit back. Although it's tempting, it's usually a bad idea as you may get yourself into trouble if you get involved in a fight.

If you know or see someone being bullied

If you don't like seeing people being bullied, then do something about it. By not saying or doing anything, you're letting the person who bullies win and making the victim suffer for longer.

If you do want to do something, you can:

  • tell them to stop doing it, without getting yourself involved in a confrontation
  • let someone know about it like a teacher at your school or, if you see someone being physically attacked, you can report it to the police

If you're bullying others

It's often just as hard for people who have bullied others to ask for help. You may be worried that no-one will take you seriously or you'll get into trouble by admitting you've bullied someone.

Try and talk to a teacher or an older pupil that you get on well with and talk through the reasons behind your bullying. They'll be able to give you support and advice about how to stop your bullying.

If you want to talk to someone anonymously, try calling Childline on 0800 1111. Although you may think that they will only help victims, they're trained to help anyone in a confidential and non-judgmental way.

Anti-bullying schemes at school

All schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy in place that aims to protect students against harassment and abuse. Try and get hold of a copy and bring it with you when you tell a teacher about the problems you're having.

Some schools also have older pupils who volunteer to be 'buddies' to victims of bullying. They can give advice and support, and give you another way of reporting cases of bullying if you're not comfortable with reporting your difficulties to another adult.

If you know there's a bullying problem at your school, why not do something about it? There are a number of organisations that you can contact to help you set up an anti-bullying scheme or network. Even if you're not the person being bullied, you can still get involved.

Find more help with bullying here.

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