What can I do about bullying?

If you are being bullied, you probably feel very upset, worried, angry, ashamed, humiliated or sad about it. You might think there is nothing you can do about it… but there are things you can do.  Read on to find out more. 

Tell someone you trust

  • Telling someone is a big and brave step towards getting the bullying to stop
  • People who bully assume you won’t tell anyone – or might try to scare you so you don’t tell anyone. That’s often how they get away with it!
  • You might not want to tell anyone, because you’re worried it will make it worse. It’s not unusual to feel embarrassed or worried or scared – it can seem like a hard thing to do
  • If you feel like you can’t do it face to face, try writing a letter or sending a message to someone
  • If you are hurt at school, tell a teacher straightway and ask them to report it to the school. And it’s very important to tell your parents or carers as soon as you can

Kerry says, “I was being bullied at school and they said if I told anyone they would ‘get me’. I didn’t know what to do because I was scared and I didn’t want things to get worse. But I knew if I did nothing the bullying would just carry on. I tried to ignore it and walk away but this didn’t work. In the end I told my mum who went into school and spoke to the teacher. I don’t know what the teacher said to the bullies, but things did stop. It was really hard telling my mum because I was embarrassed and it wasn’t easy to say I was being called horrible names, but I am glad I did it”

Keep a record of times you are bullied

Write down what happened, when it happened (day, date and time), where it was and who was there. This way, you will have a record to show the person you tell. Here is an example of how you can keep a record of what is happening:

When (date and time) Monday 1st of June at morning break time

Where (where did the bullying take place) In the school yard 

Who was it? Jess and Callum

What did the bullies do or say?They tried to trip me up as I walked past and laughed and made faces

You might also want to ask other people to write down what they saw. It can be a bit tricky because, sometimes, they might worry they will be bullied too if they tell – but, there is strength in numbers and if you all club together, it will help you all. Together you can stand up against people who bully and make sure something is done!

Try not to show your feelings in front of those who are bullying you

This is a hard one. Bullying can be very upsetting – it can make you feel angry, embarrassed or scared. Try your best not to get upset or react to them. You might want to cry or get angry, shout or be rude or hit back. The thing is that bullies are often trying to get a reaction from you. This shows they have upset you – and gives them a feeling of power. If you feel confident enough try, using phrases to show you don’t care, like:

“Yeah… whatever.”

“I don’t really care what you say.”

“You are not worth my time.”

And then calmly turn and walk away

Then tell someone how you are feeling – don’t bottle it up. 

Walk away

Remove yourself, especially if you feel scared or worried… and then make a note of what happened.

Stay in safe places

People don’t like to be seen bullying. So, try to stay in places where there are other people, especially adults. For example: 

  • At school, stay near teachers or other staff. If anyone starts to bully you, they will be caught in the act!
  • Sit near the driver on the bus or near adults on a train
  • If the bullying happens at the same place in the street or park, take a different route or go to a different place. Leave a bit earlier… or later. If it is dark, try to stay in places where there are lots of streetlights.
  • If you are going out, take people with you – friends or family – as much as you can. Get your friends to stick with you at school to help you out.

Control your online accounts

  • Don’t give anyone your passwords
  • Try to change passwords often
  • Lock your phone 
  • If you are worried someone has access to your online account change your passwords and tell a grown up.

For more information on how to manage social media you might want to read our making social media work for you.

What is bullying?


Suit of armour tool


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