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Bullying is never ok. It’s hurtful and can impact someone for a long time. Remember, you’re not alone. There are people you can talk to and things you can do to stop the bullying.

Girl at school, standing in the middle surrounded by other teens either side whispering to each other and pointing at her.

What is bullying?

It's more than just a fight or disliking someone.

It’s being mean to someone over and over again.

Bullying is an ongoing or repeated misuse of power in relationships, with the intention to cause deliberate (on purpose) psychological harm. Bullying behaviours can be verbal, physical or social.

Bullying can happen anywhere – at home, online, with friends, in a group, on the bus or at school.

Types of bullying

There are many different types of bullying:

Name calling, teasing, putting someone down, threatening to cause someone harm.
Poking, hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, tripping or pushing someone, breaking someone’s things, pulling faces or making rude hand signals.
Lying, spreading rumours, playing horrible jokes, leaving someone out on purpose, embarrassing someone in public.
Using technology to hurt someone else by sending hurtful messages, pictures or comments.

"A study reported 1 in 4 Australian students experience bullying.

So if you’re being bullied, you’re NOT alone."

Why do people bully others?

There are lots of reasons why someone might bully others. Whatever the reason, bullying is never ok.

Someone who bullies another person might:

  • Feel jealous
  • Want others to like them
  • Want to feel better about themselves
  • Want to fit in with their friends
  • Feel angry inside
  • Like to be in control or have power over others
  • Have been bullied themselves
  • Not know what they're doing is wrong

What effect can bullying have?

Bullying can be very hurtful and cause lots of pain. You may:

Have trouble sleeping

Lose your appetite

Have trouble concentrating

Feel down about yourself

Find it hard to cope

Have thoughts of hurting yourself

Feel suicidal

Have trouble with school work

Feel physically sick

Feel hopeless or powerless

Feel alone, sad, angry or confused

Feel unsafe or afraid

Check out these videos on bullying and being an upstander!

What to do if you’re being bullied?

There’s always something you can do.

Here are some ideas:

  • Keep your distance from bullying
  • Don’t bully them back
  • Tell them what they are doing is not ok
  • Talk to an adult you trust
  • Take time to do something nice for yourself
  • Have someone help you report cyberbullying or assault

"It started up again... I got my friends to talk to him and it backfired."

"You don't have to put up with bullying. Talk to a counsellor at Kids Helpline, they really helped me feel better" - Lucy, 14

Everyone needs a support team!

Let Kids Helpline be a part of yours.

If you’re being bullied, it’s really important to talk to someone you trust.

We’re always here to help. Give us a call, start a WebChat or email us today.

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