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

I need 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, 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 

Unfortunately, people can fall out. People may have been friends for years, or just a few days – but something can happen which means they decide they no longer want to be friends.  

Making friends, falling out, and perhaps making up again is a normal part of relationships. But, that doesn’t for one moment mean that it’s not difficult or upsetting for everyone involved. 

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

Two bubbles showing features of bullying vs relational conflict

How to respond to bullying

If you are being bullied

If you feel able to, please confide in someone you trust. You can ask a friend to come with you to speak to an adult you trust so you do not feel alone. Don't be tempted to respond to any bullying or hit back because you could get hurt or get into trouble. 

6 steps of what to do if you are being bullied

If you see someone being bullied

If you’re worried about a friend who’s experiencing bullying behaviour, it can be very worrying and difficult to know what to do. Here are some top tips from the Diana Award:  

  • You can't promise to keep a secret
  • Let them know you are there to listen
  • Encourage them to speak to a trusted adult at school
  • Encourage them to screenshot/report/block
  • Encourage them to speak to a trusted adult at home
  • Encourage your friend to keep a diary of events
  • Signpost support
  • Reflect on how you're feeling
  • Tell them how awesome they are 

If you are bullying

Bullying someone else isn’t okay. But if you’re doing it and want to stop, these are the things that Childline recommends that you do: 

  • Recognise that what you're doing is bullying 
  • Delete and don’t send any more posts or messages 
  • Don’t stay on group chats or pages 
  • Say sorry 
  • Encourage others to stop bullying too 
  • Try asking an adult for help if you're struggling with difficult feelings. 
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.

  • 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

  • Web chat Web chat
  • Phone Phone
  • Email Email


City and County

age Under 19

  • Text Text
  • Phone Phone
  • Email Email
  • In person In person

The Mix

City and County

age Under 25

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.