Children who are being bullied often find it very difficult to tell anyone, because they believe things will get worse if the child doing the bullying finds out. They can feel ashamed and embarrassed about what is happening and this is what the bully relies on.  They may feel they have done something to cause it or that they should be able to handle the problem themselves, (this is especially true with older children).

There are different forms of bullying:

  • Physical – any form of physical violence pushing, hitting, punching, kicking or intimidating behaviour, plus also theft or intentional damage to possessions.

  • Verbal - yelling abuse at another, name-calling, teasing, insulting someone, using verbal threats.

  • Emotional/psychological - spreading rumours, tormenting, social exclusion, disclosing another’s secrets to someone else.

  • Cyberbullying - when a person or a group of people uses the internet, mobile phones, online games or any other kind of digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else. You can report any online abuse through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website.

Please also see our e-Safety page for more information about cyberbullying.


Children and young people can be bullied for any reason, but some include: 

Racist: Bullying based on skin colour, religion, ethnicity or language.

Homophobic: Discrimination due to somebody’s sexuality and/or gender identity.

Sexual: Unwelcome sexual advances or remarks that are intended to cause offence, humiliation or intimidation.

Disability: The bullying of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.

'Differences': Bullying based on other reasons such as the way someone looks or dresses, hobbies and interests, family set up or social behaviour.


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