What is bullying?

Bullying happens in deliberate and repeated behaviour and can come in many forms through verbal and physical attacks, threats, harassment, exclusions, and/or intimidation.

Bullying usually happens to those who are most vulnerable than others and to people who cannot stick up for themselves. Most bullying takes place in and around school and the playground.

Bullying is extremely harmful to its victims in showing that violence and aggression is an “acceptable” alternative in dealing with issues when in truth it is unacceptable. Bullying can put a dark cloud over the victim that can have lasting effects.

Here are some things you can do if you feel safe doing so. 

Keep in mind that bullies enjoy getting a reaction out of you and often lose interest if they do not receive one.

• Do not respond and walk away from the bully. Your body language will show that you do not care.
• Focus your concentration on a positive event that has happened to you in your life and walk away.
• Sometimes laughing with your bully and walking away shows that you are unbothered by what they have to say to you.
• Say out loud – “leave me alone” this might grab attention towards the situation and invite bystanders to intervene.

When you choose to ignore your bully and walk away you are taking away the bullies power that they think they have over you!

Build an armoured shield around yourself – imagine there is a shield around yourself that the words of your bully are bouncing off.

Stand up for yourself – bullies pick on people they feel are weaker than themselves. It may be scary but stick up for yourself and continue to do so.

Remember to remain strong and not respond. This can sometimes make the situation worse and fuel the fire.

• Do not think it is your fault – nobody deserves to be bullied.
• Do not fight back.
• Do not keep it to yourself and hope it will go away – report it so that the next person does not have to go through the same thing.
• Do not hurt yourself – as painful as bullying can be there is somebody out there who cares and wants to help your situation. Reach out.

Bystanders are people who stand by while someone is being bullied only to watch, record, and who do and say nothing.

As a bystander you are sending the message to the bully that what they are doing is acceptable.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem just as much as the bully!

Here are some things you can do to Stand Up and safely support the victim:

• Don’t laugh
• Don’t encourage the bully
• Don’t participate in anyway
• Help the target get away from a safe distance
• Reach out in friendship and let the victim know you are there for them
• If you notice someone being isolated, invite them to join
• Include the victim
• Help the victim in anyway
• Tell an adult

If your bully is being physical or is refusing to stop tell a trusted adult or guardian immediately! It may be scary to tell an adult but telling won’t only get you help, but will make you feel safe.

If you don’t keep comfortable telling your parent/guardian, speak to a teacher or student councillor.