Bullying can make us feel unsafe and unhappy. It stops us from being who we want to be and can make it hard to learn and be around other people.
If you are being bullied or you see bullying happening, you can do something. If you are bullying others, you can access help to stop the bullying behaviour.
If bullying behaviours aren't challenged, it can create an environment where bullying is accepted and where everyone feels powerless to stop it.
Bullying is never OK!
To support students who have experienced bullying to access support and advice, Bullying. No Way! and the eSafety Commissioner have collaborated to share some practical tips on how to respond.
fact sheets cover what bullying might look and feel like, what to do if you or someone you know is being bullied and who you can turn to for help.
What is bullying
Bullying is when 1 person (or a group of people) with more power than someone else repeatedly tries to upset or hurt them.
This power can come from the perception of being more popular, stronger or part of the group. They might repeatedly try to hurt them physically, socially isolate them or say and do mean or humiliating things to them.
Bullying in any form can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.
Bullying can happen in person or online (cyberbullying) and it can be obvious or hidden.
Bullying involves misusing any power that a person has to harm someone else and might involve repeatedly:
- physically hurting someone
- keeping someone out of a group (online or in person)
- saying mean or humiliating things, or spreading rumours or lies
- sending nasty messages or inappropriate images online
- tagging inappropriate or unflattering images online.
I am being bullied
You have a right to feel safe and be safe. Being bullied can make you feel sad, anxious and lonely, but things can change.
There are things you can do and doing something will help you feel like you are taking your power back.
Tell a trusted person, like a friend, teacher, parent or other adult. They can help you. Remember, the sooner you report the bullying and seek help, the sooner things can change.
Bullying affects each person in different ways. Common feelings include:
- ashamed that this is happening to you
- hopeless and stuck and can't get out of the situation
- like it is your fault
- alone, like there is no one to help you
- like you don't fit in with a certain group of people
- sad and rejected by your friends and other groups of people
- unsafe and afraid
- confused about why this is happening to you
- anxious or stressed about what to do.
But you're not alone and it's not okay.
It's awful to feel this way but it is not hopeless. You don't have to feel like this.
I've been called a bully
You may feel upset and be confused about why someone has called you a bully.
If you are not sure whether you have bullied someone, think about how you have been treating others. Even if you don't think it's bullying, someone has a problem with how you are behaving towards them.
Bullying of any form, for any reason, can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.
Bullying can happen in person or online and it can be obvious or hidden.
You have a responsibility to help fix it.
You can make sure it doesn't happen again. You may also need someone else to help you to change things.
I've seen someone being bullied
Have you seen bullying happen but didn't know how to stop it?
When someone you know is being bullied it can be upsetting. If you see or know of others being bullied, you may feel angry, fearful, guilty and sad. You may also feel worried that the bullying could happen to you.
You can take action to stop bullying happening.
When other people intervene the bullying is more likely to stop.
It is important not to put your own safety at risk and step in only if you feel safe to do so.