Take action against bullying
Bullying may be common, but that doesn’t mean it should be accepted. There are many ways to help.
Lots of people know bullying is happening, but don't tell anyone or take action to stop it. By taking action together we can stop bullying: not just this week, for good.
If you're being bullied
If you are being bullied, you are not alone. Most people suffer bullying at some point in their life: at school, at home, at work or in other places. Wherever it happens, it’s wrong: it’s a serious problem that has to stop.
There are lots of different things you can do to help yourself. But everyone has to find out what works best for them.
- Try discussing things calmly with the bully.
- Try explaining what's going on to someone you trust, or asking for advice.
- Try changing how you react or what you do when you are being bullied (eg try not to overreact – the greater the unhappiness you show, the higher the satisfaction for the bully).
- Do avoid being cornered in places where you can't escape. If there is a known danger point (for example, an alleyway on the way home from school).
- Try talking to an adult you trust – for example, your parents or a teacher.
Some kinds of bullying are illegal but all kinds are serious. If you are being bullied it is very important that you take action to make it stop.
If you've seen someone being bullied
If you've seen someone being bullied, it can be hard to know what to do. You might find yourself wanting to ignore what's going on, or even join in. You might be scared or upset. But doing something about it will help you feel better in the long run. You can help by:
- Not ignoring it or pretending it hasn't happened.
- Offering sympathy to the victim and asking them what you can do to help.
- Supporting them to take positive action to stop the bullying.
- Helping them talk to an adult, someone they trust or even to the bully.
- Giving them a hug or a shoulder to cry on.
- Seeking the advice of an adult you trust, if you feel too overwhelmed by tackling it on your own.
- Keeping safe yourself – if you do approach a bully, make sure enough sensible people are around to stop a fight from happening.
Don't feel bad if you can't sort it out right away. Stopping bullying is very hard, particularly if the person doing the bullying has a lot of power.
If you are bullying someone
You might bully someone because you feel you have good reason to – perhaps they have upset or been mean to you, or they do things that annoy you. But it is wrong to victimise someone else. The longer you do it, the more damage you do, not just to them but to yourself.
Bullies are four times more likely to get involved in crime than most children or teenagers. They also grow up to have bad social skills, and are more likely to drink too much or take drugs. Bullying can easily become a habit which will damage your relationships and make you unhappy.
Take action to stop bullying now:
- Avoid situations where you get violent or might hurt someone.
- Think about how the other person might feel.
- Try talking to someone about how you feel and for help in stopping.
Learning how to be nice to people and control your own behaviour can be difficult and stressful. Don't feel too bad if you don't get everything right at once. It can be a slow process.
Many young people who are having problems with their behaviour find talking to someone like a mentor, counsellor or Early Intervention worker can really help. You can ask about support to improve your behaviour at your local Early Intervention Hub. You may also like to have a look at the In conflict with others? area of this website.
Find out more…
- If you’re worried about bullying please tell someone you trust or phone Childline on 0800 1111.
- To find out more about these projects and anti-bullying work in Oxfordshire please email firstname.lastname@example.org.