What can I do?
It's good to talk with friends, they may be able to support you, but adult help is needed in order to get the best results.
Most adults know a lot about bullying and how to overcome it. Even if they don’t know what to do straight away, they will want to help you sort it out. If you go to an adult who doesn’t know what to do, find someone else who does.
There is no need to be embarrassed as many people are bullied and we all need help at times. Talking about bullying is not ‘telling tales’ or ‘snitching’.
You have a right to be safe and free from harassment or attacks.
No one should be silent about bullying. It’s a big issue so don't be scared about speaking out. The adults you talk with will most likely understand your worries. Trust that they will be discreet about the problem.
Say to whoever you choose to talk to if you're scared about making the report and that you think the bullying will get worse when you report it. Adults should take this into account when they are dealing with it. When dealing with the person bullying, the adults may not need to say where the information has come from. Even if the person bullying does find out you made reports, you will be safer. People who bully thrive on secrecy and thinking they are getting away with it.
Chances are you are not the only person being bullied. When you speak out you are probably helping other people too.
For someone who bullies, secrecy is their best weapon. Breaking the silence is the most important part in overcoming or ending the bullying.
The Department of Education recommends that all schools have an Anti-Bullying Policy in place. Bullying is a serious issue and should never be ignored. Information about your school policy should be available to you. If it’s not, ask for it.
Your school’s Anti-Bullying Policy may have information about types of bullying, your rights and responsibilities and what steps the school will take in dealing with bullying.
Your school may have a ‘Buddy System’ or a ‘Mentoring Programme’ where older pupils are trained in ‘listening skills’ and act as a support person for students who may need it.
Talk with your teacher or school counsellor about the problem you’re having.
Be sure to talk with your parents/carers also. If you feel you’re not getting enough help at school, your parents or another trusted adult may be able to help you with this.
While fighting back may seem like self defence, it could only make things worse for you. You are at risk of physical danger or of causing hurt to someone else.
Fighting back will not stop the problem. By becoming involved in fights, you are just involving yourself in anti-social behaviour. If you are physically assaulted by someone, defend yourself as much as you can, shout for help and get away from the situation as quickly as possible.