Anti-Bullying Week 2020 13/11/2020

This week is Anti-bullying week where the whole of the UK unite in standing up to bullies. KC are completely against any and all forms of bullying, no one has the right to make you feel bad about yourself, to upset you or make you feel uncomfortable. We’ve put together this blog post to help; to make sure you know you’re not alone and to help support you.

Please talk to someone if you’re being bullied. Talk to a friend, a parent, a tutor….KC have an amazing Safeguarding Team who are always available, whether it be in person or via email: staysafe@kidderminster.ac.uk

What is Bullying?

Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It includes name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining (making them feel small and not wanted) someone.

It can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt both physically and emotionally.

What are the types of Bullying?

Bullying can take many different forms. It could be::

    • physical bullying: hitting, slapping or pushing someone
    • verbal bullying: name calling, gossiping or threatening someone
    • non-verbal abuse: hand signs or text messages
    • emotional abuse: threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone
    • exclusion: ignoring or isolating someone
    • undermining, constant criticism or spreading rumours
    • controlling or manipulating someone
    • making silent, hoax or abusive calls

The following types of bullying are also a hate crime:

  • racial, sexual, transphobic or homophobic bullying
  • bullying someone because they have a disability.

It’s so important to remember that if you’re experiencing anything of the above, to speak to someone. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable at all.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying that is carried out through the use of electronic media devices, such as computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, or gaming consoles

What makes Cyberbullying different?

We know there is a strong link between cyberbullying and face to face bullying. Research has shown (please see Focus On briefing in the Tools and Research section below) that 80% of victims of cyberbullying were also bullied face to face.

Bullying is far more wide spread now it is online – it’s not just your time in school or college. It affects your social life. Your social life is online. How many people like your status or your picture. Social pressures are just made worse.

There are some things that make cyberbullying different to ‘traditional’ bullying:

  • 24-7 nature – the nature of online activity means you can be in contact at any time.
  • There is the potential for a wider audience and bullying incidents can stay online, for example: a photo that you can’t remove
  • Evidence – a lot of cyberbullying incidents allow those experiencing it to keep evidence – for example, take a screen shot – to show to school staff or police if needed.
  • Potential to hide your identity – it is possible to hide your identity online which can make cyberbullying incidents very scary
  • Degree of separation – people who cyberbully often don’t see the reaction of those experiencing it so it can sometimes be harder for them to see the impact of their actions

What are the types of Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying can include:

  • sending threatening or abusive text messages
  • creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos
  • trolling – the sending of menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games
  • excluding you from online games, activities or friendship groups
  • shaming someone online
  • setting up hate sites or groups about you or a particular person
  • encouraging young people to self-harm
  • voting for or against someone in an abusive poll
  • creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name
  • sending explicit messages, also known as sexting
  • pressuring you into sending sexual images or engaging in sexual conversations.

5 Things to do if you're being bullied online:

If you're being bullied:

  • It doesn’t matter what colour hair you have; what trainers you are wearing; how you speak; how you walk; how you talk – it is not your fault if you get bullied.  We are all different in some way and that’s what makes us amazing. 
  • Whether you are a boy or a girl, old or young, big or small – bullying makes you feel rubbish and it’s okay to be upset about it.  The important thing is that you tell someone about it. 
  • If you feel you can, talk to a teacher you trust or a family member.  If you don’t want to do that you can always call Childline 0800 11 11 or visit www.childline.org.uk.
  • Write down what happened, when it happened, and who was involved.  If the bullying is online, keep the evidence – save or copy any photos, videos, texts, e-mails or posts.
  • It can be tempting if you are being bullied to take revenge – for example to send a horrible message back to someone; to try and embarrass and hurt the other person, or to fight back.  This is not a good idea – you might end up getting in trouble or get yourself even more hurt. 
  • Think about other ways you can respond to bullying. For example, practice saying ‘I don’t like it when you say that/do that – Stop.’  Think about other people who can help you if you are being bullied – this could be other classmates, or a teacher.
  • Only spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.  If someone constantly puts you down they are not a real friend/ boyfriend/ girlfriend and not worth your time.
  • Be kind to yourself, and do things that make you feel good, relax and make new friends.  You might make music; write lyrics; draw cartoons; dance; act or join a sports club.  This is your life so make sure it’s the best life possible – don’t let anyone bring you down.
  • Remember to respect other people! Just because someone is different to you and your friends – that doesn’t mean you are better than them or have a right to make them feel bad.  If you mess up, say sorry.  You don’t have to be friends with everyone – but you should always make it clear that you don’t like it when people bully others, and stick up for people who are having a hard time.

Remember:

Please, please talk to someone if you’re being bullied.