Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else – such as name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.
It can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.
Bullying that happens online, using social networks, games and mobile phones, is often called cyberbullying. A child can feel like there’s no escape because it can happen wherever they are, at any time of day or night.
- verbal abuse, such as name calling and gossiping
- non-verbal abuse, such as hand signs or text messages
- emotional abuse, such as threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone
- exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone
- undermining, by constant criticism or spreading rumours
- controlling or manipulating someone
- racial, sexual or homophobic bullying
- physical assaults, such as hitting and pushing
- making silent, hoax or abusive calls
- online or cyberbullying.
What is online or cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is an increasingly common form of bullying behaviour which happens on social networks, games and mobile phones. Cyberbullying can include spreading rumours about someone, or posting nasty or embarrassing messages, images or videos.
Children may know who’s bullying them online – it may be an extension of offline peer bullying – or they may be targeted by someone using a fake or anonymous account. It’s easy to be anonymous online and this may increase the likelihood of engaging in bullying behaviour.
Cyberbullying can happen at any time or anywhere – a child can be bullied when they are alone in their bedroom – so it can feel like there’s no escape.
Source: NSPCC (2016) Childline annual review 2015/16: It turned out someone did care.