BULLYING (YOUNG PEOPLE)
If you are being bullied, or know a friend who is being bullied, you can find help and advice below.
- People calling you names
- Making things up to get you into trouble
- Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
- Taking things away from you
- Damaging your belongings
- Stealing your money
- Taking your friends away from you
- Spreading rumours
- Threats and intimidation
- Making silent or abusive phone calls
- Sending you offensive messages
- Posting insulting messages online
- Bullies can also frighten you so that you don’t want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them.
If you are being bullied, tell a friend, a teacher, your parents or someone in your family like a grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin. Don’t try to fight or box the bullies as you may get into trouble with the school. If possible, write down information to share with your teacher or parents so you can explain what happened and when.
If you have a mobile phone, be careful who you give your number to and who you accept friend requests from. If you receive threatening or abusive phone calls or texts then tell your parents. It is a criminal offence to send offensive or threatening phone messages and if it continues, it can also be considered to be harassment. If you are receiving threatening or malicious messages then you can go to the police with all of the messages you have received. If you have the ability to record calls on your handset then take a recording too. The police will then work to stop the problem you are having.
How to stop receiving text messages
If you are receiving text messages that you don’t want to, you can easily stop receiving them by turning off incoming messages on your handset for a while or by blocking an individual number. If you want to find out how to block a certain caller or message sender, you can just google your handset type and the words ‘how to block a phone number’.
If the harassment is more extreme, for example you are getting threatening or malicious phone calls you can change your telephone number. Some networks will let you change without cost to a new number, and then will place your old number in quarantine for 6 months so that you can change back when the problem has been resolved if you wish. This service may not be available to all customers.
Be careful when you are online. A number of message boards have been used by online bullies and sometimes anti-Gypsy bullies. Be careful who you give your phone number to and do not allow anyone to contact you who you do not know and trust in real life. NEVER meet someone you have made friends with over the internet by yourself.
DfE data from 2003 suggested that over two thirds of teenagers surveyed said that they had, at some point, been the victims of internet abuse, such as:
- Hate messages, where an aggressor leaves a plain threat or insult
- Flaming; when a discussion on a forum or website turns nasty, quickly
- Identity theft: setting up a social network page for someone without their consent, then posting false opinions under that alias- usually designed to inflame opinion against them, or to instigate trouble between peers
- False allegations: claiming, for example, on an anti-racism website, that Person X is a racist, then posting personal details
- Releasing private information about that person, to encourage further privacy invasion
You can find loads more useful information on the Friends, Families & Travellers website here