All bullying, whatever the motivation or method is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. It can affect anyone and we are all potential targets - whether we are adult, child or the bullying is at school, in the community, at work, on line or at home. Most people understand bullying as behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that is intended to hurt another individual or group either physically or emotionally. If you are struggling with bullying, harassment, cyberbullying or anti-social behaviour issues, we hope this website will enable you to identify solutions and remedies along with practical help.
By law, all schools must have measures in place to prevent bullying and teachers, pupils and parents should be told what that policy is. A schools involvement in tackling bullying should not start at the point at which a child or student has been bullied. Good schools develop an ethos to prevent bullying happening in the first place. When bullying does occur, it is important for schools to respond promptly, support the bullied pupil and ensure that bullying does not happen again.
Likewise, employers should have robust procedures in place to deal with bullying in the workplace. If you are being bullied, talk to your employer and find out what procedures and policies are in place and find out how to make a formal complaint using your employer’s grievance procedure.
Bullying and Harassment can be defined in many different ways and can be described as unwanted conduct of behaviour designed to cause harm or distress to another person. It can be characterized as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. Bullying can be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any personal characteristic of the individual, and maybe persistent or an isolated incident. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient.
The National Bullying Helpline has over 20 years experience helping employees and businesses with bullying in the workplace.
Bullying at Work
If you are worried about your son or daughter we can help with practical advice and help you communicate effectively with the school.
Help for Parents
If someone is bullying you, its very important that you tell a parent of teacher. Click here for tips on how to deal with bullies
Help for Children
We offer a free confidential helpline service for anyone experiencing bullying and needing some advice. We also have lots of helpful information on this website covering a vast range of bullying topics from bullying at school or the community to effective advice for employees and managers to help identify and stop bullying in the workplace.
If you believe you are being bullied or harassed at work by a colleague or management, we can help. You may have been Suspended, Dismissed or Disciplined or left feeling you have been treated unfairly. Click here to find ideas, solutions and strategies to ease your work-related stress and help you though the situation. Hopefully this will lead to a solution to your problem.
We specialise in all areas of employment law related to Bullying in the workplace and conflict resolution. From dealing with difficult staff to Independent workplace investigations we can help. If you are a Supervisor, team leader, line manager or Director and you have responsibility for managing staff, you will find guidelines, tips, recommendations and solutions here.
If your son or daughter is getting bullied at school or you are a parent dealing with a distressed child who is being bullied right now. We can help with practical advice that's proven to stop bullying or help you approach the school to address the situation. Maybe the school simply isn't doing enough to prevent bullying or protect you child. Whatever your bullying situation, we can help
Cyberbullying is on the increase - more and more cases are being reported to our helpline by children and extremely worried parents every day. It's a personal attack using technology, which is intended to cause you harm or distress. If you have been the target of on-line abuse or believe you are the victim of cyberbullying. We can offer practical advice and solutions to put a stop to this ecrime.
In 2017 there was a most disturbing, steep, rise in self-harm statistics among teenage girls, according to BBC News. We have to ask whether some of these statistics are linked to bullying and to a condition The National Bullying Helpline is recognising in the UK called Post Traumatic Embitterment Disorder.
Stress is one on the biggest contributors to long term sick leave in the UK with over half a million workers citing stress, depression or anxiety as a factor to their absence in the last year. For more information about stress related to bullying at work click here as we address the issue of Work Related Stress.
With the rise of mobile phones and hand-held devices, social media has become part of everyone’s life and the use of social media has seen the growth of online bullying. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat allow people to share photos and video instantly around the world.
If bullying is not addressed mental illness can result through the repetition of negative experiences emotions, thinking patterns and behaviours. It is essential to understand that by the time mental illness is visible, a person will have gone through a sustained period of upset confusion & negative emotions.
Here you will find Bullying Guides to help you through your current situation. They are well structured and contains sample letters and guidance to assist in almost every scenario. There will be something for you here to help tackle bullying, on or off-line. Before calling our helpline, take a quick look at the documents below.
Designed to walk you through every step of the process and help you resolve the problems your child is facing. This guide includes everything you need to know from setting expectations, the role of the school, how to escalate matters to detailed template letters to the school, Headmaster and Governors or Trustees.
If someone has posted false, malicious or private things about you online and you believe the cyberbully is someone you know or used to be friends with, this can be very distressing. This guide will help you understand what you can do and how to persuade the perpetrator to stop bullying you.
Being accused of bullying can be very upsetting. If you are accused, it may be you're being subjected to a form of bullying yourself. It may be, you need some assistance or additional resources. This document is aimed at assisting those who are accused of bullying – whether it's true or not.
Accessing personal information your employer has on file is called a Subject Access Request (SAR). You have a legal right to ask your employer for this information. This guide explains how to request this information and includes template letters to help the process.
Anti-Bullying Week occurs in November each year and helps put a spotlight on bullying issues around the country. It helps draw attention to the children trying to cope with bullying in school on a daily basis. It helps to remind managers and staff of the serious consequences that bullying can have in the workplace and it encourages all children, teachers, parents, managers and colleagues to take action against bullying throughout the whole year.
At The National Bullying Helpline we want to promote anti bullying week, every week. In order to do this, given that we spend most of our time thinking about the somewhat distressed target of bullying, we would like to focus a little on the bully. Our objective is to ensure you feel ‘informed’ so that you can, in turn, develop coping strategies for yourself and your loved ones.
It’s not rocket science in fact. A bully will likely be struggling with his or her own demons or problems, which in some cases are extremely deep-routed and historic. A bully may even be feeling insecure or threatened in some way, consciously or sub-consciously. They may simply feel a need to be regarded as ‘top dog’ – to be seen as the person who has power, control and authority over others. Don’t be fooled. In reality the bully is experiencing a cocktail of emotions themselves - from real fear and vulnerability to a somewhat perverted feeling of triumph and euphoria which they feel if they believe they have control over others. In reality, controlling a situation merely feeds the bullies own inadequacies. In reality, the target of the bully is the stronger person – certainly at the outset.
We say bullying is abuse of power and we know it is ultimately about a power over others but we should never forget that these bullies are actually hiding their own inadequacies. They often lack interpersonal skills. They are weak. They are cowards. If given a choice, they prefer to remain anonymous. This is why so many bullies work with gangs or collaborators, particularly in the workplace or school playground. Today, given our world of ever-changing technology, it’s easy to hide in cyberspace behind a pseudo name. If a bully is identified and accused of being a bully, they quickly switch persona and adopt the role of the victim. Sound familiar? It’s a classic tactic.
Often, where a parent reports that their child is being bullied we learn later that the child-bully is, or has been, abused themselves. They may simply have witnessed violence or abuse which has left them feeling unsafe, traumatised and vulnerable. They desperately need our help too. In both the playground and workplace particularly a bully will target a person who is perceived as a threat in some way. They make it their personal objective to humiliate and belittle that target until their victim stands down, backs off or has a health break-down. The target will probably feel a profound sense of injustice at having become the centre of a rather unpleasant and humiliating situation. It need only be a temporary situation – believe me. There is a way forward.
We ask those who are experiencing bullying right now to stop and think, for a moment, about what is actually occurring here. If you are being bullied don’t internalise it. Don’t become a ‘victim’. Think about the bigger picture. The way you think about your situation will help you identify a solution. To develop coping mechanisms to deal with a bully you need to understand what is driving the bully and develop your own strategies. If you are dealing with a child bully, consider the childs’ welfare (home-life and personal circumstances) when considering the action you will take. If you are dealing with bullying in the home, community or workplace there is a great deal you can do.
We have written a series of guides on approaches and strategies to cover all scenarios in order to help you overcome and combat bullying. Even where it is eCRIME (cyberbullying) provided you know who the bully is you can take action. In every case, you can protect yourself and turn the situation round – if you really want to! Legislation is catching up with anti-social behaviour, both on and off-line, so provided you follow our advice and behave professionally yourself, there is so much you can do. To start this process, choose to be respectful. Next, keep both yourself and your loved ones informed. Knowledge is power !
The National Bullying Helpline is a confidential helpline designed to advise about bullying and employment law but in some serious cases, we may take action if we believe someone is in danger. We have an ongoing Service Agreement with the Police so we can act swiftly when there is a potential danger to life. Call us immediately if you know someone at risk due to bullying on 0300 323 016
If you or your child is affected by something you have seen or experienced online, here are some alternative helplines and useful contact numbers for organisations that may be able to assist.
The Bullying Directory
AGE UK 0800 055 6112
Cruise Care 0808 808 1677
Family Lives 0808 800 2222
HOPELineUK(young suicides) 0800 068 41 41
Lifeline - Northern Ireland 0808 808 8000
Live Fear Free 0808 8010 800
Mental Health Helpline 0800 132 737
MIND UK 0300 123 3393
National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300
NAPAC Helpline 0808 801 0331
Rape Crisis Helpline 0808 802 9999
Rape & Abuse - Women 0808 800 0123
Rape & Abuse - Men 0808 800 0122
Rape Crisis Scotland 08088 01 03 02
Respect Phoneline 0845 112 8609
Scotland's Domestic Abuse 0800 027 1234
Safe Ireland Helpline 1800 341 900
Stalking Suzy Lamplugh Trust 0808 802 0300
Stop Hate Crime UK 0800 138 1625
Victim Support Supportline 0808 168 9111
The Survivors Trust 0808 801 0818
Womens Aid 0808 2000 247
Wales Domestic Abuse 0808 80 10 800