Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group that is:
- repeated over time
- intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
- often motivated by prejudice and aimed at certain groups, eg on grounds of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
Bullying can take many forms such as:
- physical assault
- making threats
- name calling
Consequences of Bullying
All forms of bullying cause a serious emotional distress which often leads to anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and depression. Children who are bullied are often also afraid to go to school and make up health problems to stay at home. Many, however, develop actual health problems due to the stress such as frequent headaches and stomach aches, and decline in school performance. The research reveals that bullied children are also more likely to think about committing suicide. According to some experts, 44 percent of suicides by young people in the UK are linked to bullying.
‘Virtual’ bullying via mobile phone or online (eg email, social networks and instant messenger) can occur in or outside school and at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward on content at a click.
The following organisations provide support around cyberbullying and latest guidance below:
ChildNet International: Specialist resources for young people to raise awareness of online safety and how to protect themselves 12
Think U Know: resources provided by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) for children and young people, parents, carers and teachers.
Digizen: provides online safety information for educators, parents, carers and young people.
Advice on Child Internet Safety 1.0: The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) has produced universal guidelines for providers on keeping children safe online.
Cyberbullying (Childnet has issued in January 2017 updated guidance for schools on understanding, preventing and responding to cyberbullying and it can be applied to other organisations working with children)
Where to get help
There are lots of organisations that provide support, advice and resources around bullying:
EACH (Homophobic bullying)