Bullying is when individuals or groups seek to harm, intimidate or coerce someone who is perceived to be vulnerable (Oxford English Dictionary, 2020).
It can involve people of any age, and can happen anywhere — at home, school or using online platforms and technologies (cyberbullying). This means it can happen at any time.
Bullying encompasses a range of behaviours which may be combined and may include the behaviours and actions we have set out below.
- saying nasty things to or about a child or their family.
- hitting a child
- pushing a child
- physical assault.
- making threats
- undermining a child
- excluding a child from a friendship group or activities.
- excluding a child from online games, activities or friendship groups
- sending threatening, upsetting or abusive messages
- creating and sharing embarrassing or malicious images or videos
- ‘trolling’ – sending menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games
- voting for or against someone in an abusive poll
- setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child
- creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name.
Bullying can be a form of discrimination, particularly if it is based on a child’s disability, race, religion or belief, gender identity or sexuality.