If you're being bullied, you may feel isolated or frightened. You may find it hard to make friends or talk to people your age. But you don't have to put up with bullying.
To stop the bullying, speak to someone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it's the first step to resolving a situation that's not acceptable. Everyone has a right to feel safe at school, and the law says your school has to try to prevent all forms of bullying.
There are many people who will listen and help. Tell someone you trust, such as a parent, carer, teacher or friend. If you feel you can't talk directly to any of these people, write them a note or email them.
Sometimes people think talking to a teacher or parent will make things worse. If you're worried about this, call ChildLine in confidence on 0800 1111, explain the situation and ask for advice. ChildLine advisers will help any child or young person whatever the problem, and they won't judge you.
ChildLine also gives the following advice on its website:
- Stay away from anyone involved in bullying.
- Stay in a group of friends when you don't feel safe.
- Walk home with someone or get a lift.
- Ask your mates to look out for you.
- Try not to fight back, as you could get into trouble or get hurt.
- Don't reply to an abusive message.
- Keep a record and save any nasty messages you've received.
- Block the bully from contacting you or unfriend them on social media.
- Ask your school about its anti-bullying policy to find out what they should do about bullying.
Listed below are several helplines and organisations that can help you stop the bullying.
Who to contact for help with bullying
ChildLine is a helpline and website for young people and children. You can call ChildLine confidentially at any time of the day or night to talk about any worries. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles, and they won't appear on a phone bill. You can also chat online to an adviser or contact ChildLine by email or message board. ChildLine's website has a useful section on how to cope with bullying.
Bullybusters operates a free anti-bullying helpline for anyone who's been affected by bullying. It also has a website and message board, with sections specifically for kids and young people.
Bullying UK offers extensive practical advice and information about bullying for young people, and its website has a section on bullying at school.
Help for different types of bullying
Bullying related to race, religion or culture
ChildLine's website has a section on racism and what you can do if you encounter racist bullying.
Bullying of young people with a learning disability
Don't Stick it, Stop It! (PDF, 993kb), set up by Mencap, campaigns against the bullying of young people with learning disabilities.
Homophobic and transphobic bullying
EACH is a charity for young people and adults affected by homophobia and transphobia. It has a telephone helpline for young people who are experiencing homophobic or transphobic bullying. You can call the EACH actionline on 0808 1000 143 on weekdays, 9am to 5pm. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.
Stonewall is a charity that campaigns for equal rights for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people. Its Education for All campaign tackles homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools across the UK. On the Education for All website you can find case studies and facts and figures about homophobic bullying in schools, as well as advice for young people and teachers.
Bullying of young carers
A Carers Trust survey in 2013 found a quarter of the young adult carers they spoke to had been bullied at school because of their caring role.
Cyberbullying uses technology to bully people. Find out how to deal with cyberbullying.
This isn't a full list. You can find many more anti-bullying organisations on the Anti-Bullying Alliance website, which contains all the important sources of anti-bullying information and support. Remember, you can call ChildLine in confidence on 0800 1111 to talk about any type of bullying.
Getting your confidence back after bullying
Being bullied can dent anyone's confidence, but there are tips you can follow to feel better about yourself.
Listed below are organisations that offer advice for children and young people on ways to boost how well you cope with difficult situations.
- ChildLine: how to build your confidence and self-esteem
- ChildLine: standing up for yourself
- The Site: five ways to build your self-esteem
Article provided by NHS Choices