Nobody has the right to hurt other people by hitting them, calling them names, spreading rumours about them or doing anything else which is intended to upset them. Bullies try to justify their actions by saying that it is their victims fault for being different. They may pick on someone who is tall or small, fat or thin, or wears glasses, or has a different accent, or another religion, or is shy or clever, or good looking or disabled or whatever. Any excuse will do, and if there is no real difference the bullies will invent one. If this is happening to you, tell yourself that it is not your fault, and that it is the bullies who need to change, not you.
What to do
- Talk to someone you can trust: a teacher, parent, friend or relative.
- Be persistent. If the first person you talk to ignores you don’t give up; try again.
- If you can, write down everything the bullies have done or said to you and how you feel. Be careful to write down only things which really happen. Discuss this with the person who will listen.
- Most importantly, do something. Sometimes bullying stops quickly, but doing nothing means it may continue until someone is seriously upset or hurt. This could be you, or the bullies could find new victims, of they are not challenged.
What Not To Do
- Don’t try to deal with the problem on your own; there is nothing wrong with asking for help.
- Don’t hit the bullies. You might end up being accused of bullying yourself.
- Always tell the truth about what has happened. Don’t exaggerate. If a small part of what you saying is shown to be untrue, then it throws everything else into doubt.
- Don’t believe all the lies that the bullies tell about you.
- Don’t hide what is happening form the adults you trust. Keeping things secret is the bullies’ biggest weapon against you. That is why they go to so much trouble to try to stop you from telling!