Am I being bullied?

Bullying can take many forms and it may not be easy to recognise. To make things a little easier, bullying usually has these common features:

INTENT - it is deliberate!

REPEATED - it happens more than once!

HARMFUL - it causes physical or emotional damage!

POWER IMBALANCE - it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves

In more simple terms, bullying is...

Types of Bullying


Hitting, kicking, spitting, throwing stones or pushing. Getting another person to assault someone.


Verbal insults, name calling, racist or sexist remarks. 'Gay' or 'lesbian' used as an insult. Persuading another person to insult someone, spreading malicious rumours, obvious whispering.


Threatening and obscene gestures, intimidation by staring and 'dirty looks,' sending nasty or threatening text or e-mail messages. Removing and hiding belongings, deliberate exclusion from a group or activity, ignoring.

Cyberbullying (Online Bullying or E-Bullying)

This includes:

  • Internet - either by e-mail or 'site victimisation' (when someone sets up an Internet site for the purpose of victimising an individual/group)
  • Mobile phones-text messages, picture/video clip messages

Homophobic bullying

Due to sexual orientation or a 'perceived' sexual orientation.

Statistics show that many young people who are bullied on grounds of their sexuality can be impacted greatly in their futures in terms of achievements, relationship building, confidence and general well being.

Homophobic Bullying is a problem that is potentially damaging to a lot of young people whether they identify as being Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual (LGB) or not. You can read our Homophobic Bullying webpage for more information and support around homophobic bullying.

Sexual Bullying

Any bullying behaviour, whether physical or non-physical, that is based on a person's sexuality or gender. It is when sexuality or gender is used as a weapon by boys or girls towards other boys or girls – although it is more commonly directed at girls. It can be carried out to a person's face, behind their back or through the use of technology.

For example, teasing or putting someone down because of:

  • their sex life (e.g. because they haven't had sex or if they've had sex with a number of people)
  • their sexuality (e.g. making fun of someone for being homosexual)
  • their body (e.g. the size of their breasts, bottom or muscles)

Bullying on a school bus

We are working with the Safer Transport Team who monitor and work to prevent anti-social behaviour on school transport. They have provided the information on the Bullying on School Transport webpage which contains advice on what to do if you or someone you know is being bullied whilst on the school bus.

Further Reading

You can find more detailed information and advice on different types of bullying in the 'Professionals' section of this website.

Resources - Young People

See these other useful websites

  • Anti-Bullying Alliance Network
    National Children's Bureau
    Healthy Schools