First off I think it is important to know bullying can happen to anyone no matter what you look like, what religion you are or what gender you are! Many people say it can be the worst thing they have been through and it can be. It can also impact your mental health now and possibly in the future.
If you are being bullied, don’t ignore it and hope it’ll go away. Talk to your school’s pastoral team. You’re not “being a grass”, you’re supporting your own emotional wellbeing. It’s the only way it’s going to stop.
Bullying can happen at home online, at school and it can really mess with your head and how you feel.
You might feel lots of different emotions which could be:
- Sad, depressed, low
- Worried about things and anxious all the time
- Feeling stressed and angry
- The feeling of things will never get better or be different
- Feelings/thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else.
I was a victim of bullying back in school. My advice is to always tell someone straight away and ask for help. Keeping it to yourself will only be more damaging in the long run.
Bullying Has Many Forms
- Pushing or pulling someone around
- Destroying personal items or messing with them
- Items being stolen e.g. money etc.
- Name calling
- Destroying personal items or messing with them
- Someone being ignored or left out of activities
- Rumours being spread
- Telling lies about someone
- Gossiping about someone
Indirect bullying is found to be the worst for some, as many people don’t realize that it is actually bullying.
Bullying can also be seen in other forms, like: abuse, (including neglect and sexual abuse) and emotional bullying.
What can you do about Bullying?
Don’t do nothing
- Tell someone
- Don’t keep it inside
- Ignore it or walk away from it and act like it is not affecting you
- Take notes on what happens, like a diary
- Ask them to stop it (they may not realise that it is hurting you.)
- Keep copies of emails or texts.
- Stay safe on the internet
- Find out how your school deals with bullying and tell them about it
- BUT REMEMBER, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
Cyberbullying is when someone uses the internet or a mobile to purposely upset someone else. This is a form of bullying and you shouldn’t have to put up with it.
What is the difference?
This type of bullying can affect someone not just at school, but at home as too. This is because it takes place in the online environment, so it can be used at any time. Sometimes it can be difficult to find out who the cyberbully is because they could block their number or use another name. This type of bullying can have a large audience, but most won’t know that it is actually bullying.
A good thing about this kind of bullying is that it can be used as evidence. Normal bullying can be the bullies’ word against yours, but with cyberbullying you can save the messages or web pages and print them out. This can be used as evidence to find out who the bully is and stop them bullying other people too.
What Should you Do?
- Save all the messages or web pages. If you have upsetting emails or nasty things put on your profile save them to your phone or computer so you can use it as evidence.
- Learn how to block the bully. (We suggest you keep the contacts and find a way to block them as by keeping the contacts you will know who it is if they do it again).
- Don’t reply to things that are said; it could make the situation worse. If you ignore them they will get bored and give up. If they get a reaction from you, they have won. Don’t give them what they want, we know this is hard but most people find it works.
- If you are being bothered via your mobile phone, you should contact your phone provider. Each company has a special area for problems like this.
All Young People and Children have rights. These rights are part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, also known as the UNCRC.
What are they?
You have rights to:
- A childhood
- An education
- To be treated equally and fairly
- To be healthy
- and to be listened to
These rights are here to give all young people protection and a voice and apply to EVERY child and young person. Bullying can breach some of these rights and it can take them away from you.
Just so you know, the following tend to be affected:
- You have a right to be safe – you have a responsibility to make sure that you don’t do something that could make someone unsafe.
- You have the right to think what you want, so long as it does not stop anyone from doing the same.
- You have the right to relax and take part in holidays and other leisure activities – you are responsible for making sure you don’t stop anyone else from doing this.
- Adults are responsible for making sure that these rights are available to you at home, school and in your surrounding community.
Just because bullying is not a criminal offence in the UK, laws can be used for things like harassment or threatening behaviour, cyberbullying can include – threatening as well. Some of the acts are mentioned below:
- Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which has both criminal and civil provision
- Malicious Communications Act 1988
- Section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984
- Communications Act 2003
- Public Order Act 1986
If you’re being bullied because of where you come from, your skin colour or your religion; this is racism. Depending on what they say it could be a criminal offence under other laws.
Where to go for help…
Some people have found that volunteering has helped them to cope with it. If you would like to get involved in volunteering you can contact East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS) Ltd’s Volunteen project on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website www.ervas.org.uk.
You can also find out more about your rights on the Children’s Commissioner website: www.rights4me.org.
Information kindly shared courtesy of Devan Witter BEM, BOOST Training Officer – http://www.devangroup.co.uk