Definition of Bullying

Forms of Bullying

Bullying behaviour across all types of bullying can represent itself in a number of different forms. Children and young people can be bullied in ways that are:

Physical – by being punched, pushed or hurt; made to give up money or belongings; having property, clothes or belongings damaged; being forced to do something they don’t want to do.  

Verbal – by being teased in a nasty way; called gay (whether or not it’s true); insulted about their race, religion or culture; called names in other ways or having offensive comments directed at them.

Indirect – by having nasty stories told about then; being left out, ignored or excluded from groups.

Electronic / ‘cyberbullying’ – via text message; via instant messenger services and social network sites; via email; and via images or videos posted on the internet or spread via mobile phones. 

Types of Bullying

The term ‘prejudice-related’ bullying refers to a range of hurtful behaviour, physical or emotional or both, which causes someone to feel powerless, worthless, excluded or marginalised, and which is connected with prejudices around belonging, identity and equality in wider society – in particular, prejudices to do with:

  • ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
  • gender
  • gender identity
  • sexual identity
  • special educational needs and disabilities

The Equality Act 2010 identifies nine ‘protected characteristics’ and children and young people can have or be perceived to have more than one ‘protected characteristic’ and as a result may be bullied because of a number of prejudices.

  • age
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  •  sex
  • race
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • disability