Skip to main content


If you are injured or have taken an overdose, Call 999 or go to A&E immediately.
If you are having a mental health crisis, phone 0808 196 3779 to speak to a mental health professional 24/7

Bullying Image

A child or young person I know needs help with...

What is bullying? 

This is the Anti-Bullying Alliance's definition of bullying 

The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.    

Bullying is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability. 

Bullying can take many forms including: 

  • Physical – for example: pushing, poking, kicking, hitting, biting, pinching 
  • Verbal – for example: name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, belittling. 
  • Emotional – for examples: isolating others, tormenting, hiding books, threatening gestures, ridicule, humiliation, intimidating, excluding, manipulation and coercion. 
  • Sexual – for example: unwanted physical contact, inappropriate touching, abusive comments, homophobic abuse, exposure to inappropriate films
  • Online/cyber – for example: posting on social media, sharing photos, sending nasty text messages, social exclusion 

Not all friendship fallouts are bullying – sometimes professionals use the term ‘relational conflict’.  

How to respond to bullying 

The DfE produced guidance for all schools in 2017, this outlines the government's approach to bullying, legal obligations and the powers that schools have in regard to preventing and tackling bullying.  

Every school must have measures in place to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying, both inside and outside of school (including online). These measures must be communicated to all pupils, school staff and parents/carers. Some schools choose to include this information in their behaviour policy, others choose to have a separate Anti-Bullying Policy. It is important to work with parents and carers when responding to bullying.  

All staff in schools should consider the context within which incidents and/or bullying behaviours occur. Schools/professionals should consider the motivations behind the bullying behaviour and whether it reveals any concerns for the safety and welfare of the target. The child who has displayed bullying-type behaviours should also be supported. 

Witnessing or being a bystander to bullying incidents may also affect a child’s well-being. School staff/professionals should proactively support those children in processing their experiences too. 

The Anti-Bullying Alliance propose a 3-step model for schools responding to bullying [PDF].

Three steps to respond to bullying

Things to think about when creating a written record

It is helpful to build a timeline outlining information about the bullying incidents, the dates of those events, the individuals involved, and the child’s account of the event.

If applicable, be sure to include any screenshots/pictures, medical records/reports if there was treatment for physical injuries as well as any psychological assessments from mental health, (police) reports or audio recordings.

Top tips when recording bullying - effective practice ( 


Get Help NowLearn More...

Get Help Now

Here are a list of services that can help with bullying. The icons below tell you the type of support available.

  • In person In person

Tackling Emerging Threats to Children Team


  • Web chat Web chat
  • Email Email
  • Phone Phone

Bullying UK

City and County

age All Ages

  • Phone Phone

EACH - Educational Action Challenging Homophobia

City and County

age Under 18

  • Phone Phone
  • Web chat Web chat
  • In person In person

Victim Support

City and County

age All Ages

map marker - locate services near you

Which services can I access?

Some of the services available operate only within city or the wider county area. Pop your postcode in below to quickly check which services are available to you 

Related Topics

Here are some related mental health topics

Self Harm

Self-harm, or self-injury, describes a wide range of things people deliberately do to themselves that appear to cause some kind of physical hurt. It can be very hard for parents and carers to know about - or witness - self-harming behaviour in their children.

Exam Stress

Stress is common during exam time when you can feel lots of pressure to do well and get good marks.

Depression or Low Mood

Everyone has ups and downs. Sometimes you might feel a bit low, for lots of different reasons. People may say that they are feeling depressed when they are feeling down, but this does not always mean that they have depression.


Your identity is the unique things about you that make you, you. It’s good to be different because if we were all the same, the world would be boring! It’s easy to think that everyone else knows exactly who they are and feels like they fit in but even the most talented and successful people sometimes feel different and unsure.