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Bullying is behaviour that:

  • is repeated
  • is intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
  • is often aimed at certain groups, for example because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
  • can occurr online and in person

Parents/carers must be alert to the possibility of bullying and must always take action if they think their own or other children are being bullied.

Bullying includes:

  • Name calling
  • Making things up to get others into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Stealing others belongings/money
  • Damaging others belongings
  • Taking friends away to make someone feel excluded
  • Spreading rumours on social networking sites (Cyberbullying)
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls
  • Bullies can also frighten others to the extent that they don't want to go to school, and pretend to be ill to avoid them

Persistent bullying can result in

  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Shyness
  • Poor academic achievement
  • Isolation
  • Threatened or attempted suicide

If you think your child or the child you're looking after is being bullied, act immediately. Talk to your child about what they can do to deal with bullying. If this doesn't work, talk to their teacher about what can be done. Always encourage your child to tell someone.

The most important point is, take action, talk to someone who can help - a teacher, social worker, youth worker in your community - or seek advice from a reputable agency such as Kidscape.