There are things you can do about bullying. The most important thing is to tell someone you trust.

Bullying is the ongoing abuse of another person through physical or mental torture. To make matters worse this torture is often conducted in the presence of others. The humiliation felt by the victim is hard to understand if you have never been bullied. If it happens over a long period of time, it can have devastating effects on a young person's mental health.

Types of bullying

  • Physical bullying involves harmful actions against another person's body such as hitting, pinching or kicking. It might also involve interfering with another person's property. Some examples include steealing or damaging things.
  • Verbal bullying is talking to a person or about a person in a way that is unkind and hurtful to that person, for example, teasing, name-calling, spreading rumours or whispering.
  • Non verbal bullying refers to all behaviour that upsets, excludes or embarrasses another person, for example, leaving someone out of a game or activity on purpose, making rude gestures at someone or writing hate notes about a person that will be upsetting to them.

There are lots of myths about bullying such as

  • "It's a fact of life…..everyone is bullied at some stage" FALSE
  • "It toughens you up and prepares you for real life" FALSE
  • "We all have to learn to stand up for ourselves… bullying helps us to do this" FALSE
  • "There's nothing you can do about bullying" FALSE

The truth about bullying

  • Not everyone is bullied but it's estimated that around 30% of young people experience bullying at some stage
  • Rather than toughening you up for life, it can destroy your ability to enjoy life and can kill any self-confidence you had
  • Bullying can leave you feeling guilty for not standing up for yourself and if it persists, it is almost impossible for the victim to stand up to the bully.

Info on stopping a bully

  • See the help section for supportive information and conatacts details of support organisations
  • Some content thanks to Youth Health NE Authors

No matter what the question or the problem, there is always someone that can help. Even if it's a problem that you are not sure about, it's better to ask for help or advice than to struggle on alone.

Don't be embarrassed or shy about asking for help. Everybody – yes everybody – goes through difficult stuff in life. It's good to ask your family and friends for support and understanding but it is important that if you need to, you seek professional advice and help.

More links:

Living with Abuse
Who to ask for help?
Useful links for Young People