Bullying can be homophobic, based on your sexual orientation; racist, based on your skin colour; religious, based on your beliefs or faith; sizeist, by referring to your body weight or shape; sexist, because you are of the opposite sex or simply because you are different.
Bullying can happen online through digital technology too. This is known as ‘cyberbullying’ and can happen through your phone, social media platforms or when gaming or playing on your computer. It includes sending comments, videos or images without consent. Cyberbullies can sometimes also try to hack into your personal accounts or ask you to do things you feel uncomfortable with. It can make you feel harassed, intimidated or even frightened. Remember, you can report posts or comments if they are offensive or are causing you distress. Find out how to report here.
Bullying can make you feel isolated, lonely and knock our confidence. It can make you experience feelings of anxiety, anger or worthlessness It can cause depression, anxiety or eating problems leading to self-harm, drugs and alcohol. If you are experiencing any of these problems as a result of bullying, talk to your GP in private – they can help.
You can also speak to a trusted adult including your teacher, school counsellor, welfare officer or nurse. Try talking to your parents or carers. Perhaps you have some close relatives such as grandparents, aunties and uncles who you can talk to or even your friends’ parents. Youth workers and leaders may be able to help you too.
Your school will have an anti-bullying policy in place. If bullying is starting to interfere with your education, you may be able to change schools if it does not stop after you have reported it. Maybe a friend could talk to someone on your behalf. But make sure you keep reporting the bullying until it stops.