Are you being bullied? You’re NOT alone and it’s NOT your fault!

Thursday November 19th 2015

Before we start, if you are being bullied it’s important that you know these two things….

  • You’re NOT alone
  • It’s NOT your fault

 

What is bullying?

Bullying hurts and being a victim of any kind of bullying feels really bad. Bullying is when people deliberately hurt, harass or intimidate someone else. Bullying takes many forms, like name-calling, hitting, spreading rumours, stealing, excluding people and turning someone’s friends against them. Bullying via text or online is still bullying.

Every year, more than 20,000 young people call ChildLine about bullying, making it the most common problem they’re phoned about.

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Bullying can happen almost anywhere:

  • at school
  • on the way to school
  • in the playground
  • on trips
  • at your sports club
  • on the phone
  • online
  • at the shops…almost anywhere.

 

What to do if you’re being bullied?

Speak out! Tell someone. A teacher, a parent, family member, a friend, Childline…..it doesn’t matter who you choose; just don’t suffer alone! Sometimes just having things out in the open can be enough to make bullies stop.

It may seem scary to tell someone but, telling will not only get you help, it will make you feel less afraid. If you are being physically bullied and are in danger you must speak with a trusted adult immediately. And if you can’t go to your parents, seek out another trusted adult you know. If it’s at school, any of your teachers should be able to help (your school should have an anti-bullying policy). If you can’t tell your teachers, ask a parent or another adult to speak to your teachers for you.

If you’ve told a grown-up before and they haven’t done anything about it, tell someone else. Tell them exactly what happened, who did the bullying, where and when it happened, how long it’s been happening to you, and how it’s making you feel. Most adults really care about bullying and will do everything they can to help you. Keep telling until someone does help you!

If you’re being bullied through texts or phone calls, save messages and call records if you have space in your phone. If not, write down the time of the call/text, what was said/written and the caller/sender’s number if you have it. And don’t reply to any texts – it’s just what the bully wants. Show these messages to the trusted adult when you speak with them.

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What to do if a bully approaches you:

  • Walk away when the bully approaches you. Try and imagine you’re walking away from a stranger. Both you and your body language will show you don’t care.
  • Concentrate on thinking about something else (maybe a concert you want to go to, or a new outfit you want to buy.
  • Call a trusted adult or go to meet one.

Some other things you can do if you’re being bullied face-to-face:

  • Tell the other person ‘I don’t like that’.
    Use a strong and confident voice. Even if you don’t feel strong and confident, fake it!
  • Shout GO AWAY!
  • Talk with the person who is bullying you (if you think it’s a safe thing to do).
    Ask them if there is a problem that you might be able to sort out together. If you feel too scared to do it alone, ask a friend to come with you.
  • If possible, ignore the person bullying you.
    When they’re ignored, bullies often lose interest. If that doesn’t work, tell someone and ask for their help.
    Don’t try to get back at the person who bullies you. It usually doesn’t work, and you can end up in trouble too.
  • Hang around people who help you feel good about yourself
    Friends don’t bully you. They care about you and are fun to be around. You might also make new friends by caring about others.

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Be Positive

It can be hard to remember all your good points when someone is doing their best to be negative. However, try to think of all the things you do well and remember that you are a valuable person. Thinking of how bad the bully must be feeling may also help you to stay positive.

Your Rights

You deserve to feel safe. Everyone has the right to live in a safe and violence free atmosphere both at home and at school. If you don’t feel safe and secure, please tell someone!

 

If you are bullying someone

  •  You have a choice – just because you’ve bullied others in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it!
  • People who are bullied can feel upset and scared. You can put a stop to that by changing your behaviour.
  • You can get into a lot of trouble if you keep bullying others – you might get suspended or excluded from school or, in extreme cases, the police might get involved.
  • Sometimes things happen to you that make you more likely to bully others – being bullied yourself, for instance, or having problems at home. It’s important to get help for yourself, rather than taking your frustrations out on others.

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Useful contacts:

If you are concerned about someone who is being bullied or want some more information you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Young people who are deaf or find using a regular phone difficult can use the Childline textphone service on 0800 400 222.

To read more about bullying, visit the ChildLine website at www.childline.org.uk

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