Bullying is repeated harassment over a period of time, and is done in a way that makes it difficult for a person being bullied to defend themselves. It can happen to anyone at any age, and can happen at school, home or online.
There are 3 main types of bullying:
Any unwanted physical contact - Hitting, kicking, pushing, sexual abuse or taking your belongings
Verbal bullying is harder to see and stop. It tends to occur when adults aren’t around and the effects of it are not obvious. It can take the form of teasing, sarcasm, name calling, continually ignoring you.
Indirect bullying is when someone undermines or tries to ruin your reputation by spreading rumors and gossiping behind your back. It can take the form of purposefully not allowing you to participate in an activity, mocking or making fun of you, gossiping about you just for the sake it; just to be mean or sending hurtful text messages, phone calls, or messages on social networking sites.
Do you feel that you, or someone you know is being bullied? Tell someone who you trust such as a parent/carer, teacher or friend. Do not suffer in silence.
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference. It is a crime and is against the law.
It doesn’t always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime. The same goes for someone posting abusive or offensive messages about you online.
Hate crime can fall into one of three main types:
Physical assault of any kind is an offence. If you’ve been a victim of physical assault you should report it. Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator may be charged with common assault, actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.
Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling can be a common and extremely unpleasant experience for minority groups.
Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse.
Incitement to hatred
The offence of incitement to hatred occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.
Hate content may include:
Mate crime happens when someone ‘makes friends’ with you and goes on to abuse or exploit that relationship.
People with learning disabilities may be situationally vulnerable to mate crimes. They may be living very isolated lives, but – like everyone – need friends. This need is easily exploited. In addition, many people with learning disabilities haven’t had the usual opportunities to become ‘streetwise’ when growing up. Incidents can therefore be more likely to take place when they are in the community, on public transport or using services without support.
How do you know when a friend is really a friend?
Most friends really are friends… but sometimes people might pretend to be your friend. People who commit Mate Crimes might be nice to your face. These people are often not rude, violent or aggressive, nor do they steal your things. They pretend to be nice to you.
■Mate Crime does not start with bullying but it can become bullying.
■It starts with people saying they are your friend.
■Mate Crimes often happen in private and are not seen by others.
■Mate Crimes are Disability Hate Crimes and should be reported to the Police.
When someone bullies you online this is called Cyber bullying, don’t keep it to yourself or try to deal with it alone.
Tell someone you trust as it can help to talk it through with someone, keep a record of the bullying but try not to respond to any messages, commenting or sharing could make the bullying worse.
Inform the Police if there is any serious threats to you.
Cyber bullying is not against the law, but harassment or threatening behaviour is. That means if someone keeps making you feel scared on purpose, what they’re doing could be illegal.
Please see the Online Safety page for lots of other useful advice.
Practical help and advice for children and adults dealing with bullying at school or work, with a free confidential helpline and information covering all forms of bullying.
Call 0845 22 55 787, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
A coalition of organisations and individuals that are united against bullying, the website has tools and information to help to deal with bullying.
This website has articles about bullying and other topics relevant to young people, plus an online chat
Call 0808 800 2222
Has information on all types of bullying and how to deal with it.
Talk to somebody you trust: If you need help for yourself or are worried about a friend or family member, you should speak to an adult or someone that you feel comfortable with and can trust.
That could be family members, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers or other adults who work with children. They will listen to what you have to say.
Don't be afraid to talk to these people if you are worried. They are there to help you.
If you are still worried about a friend or you need help, please contact:
Phone: 01904 551900
Outside office hours, at weekends and on public holidays contact the emergency duty team telephone: 01609 780780
Police - If there is immediate danger call 999
Childline - Phone: 0800 11 11 A free, private and confidential service where you can be you. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, however you want to get in touch. We're here for you online, on the phone, anytime.