What is Bullying?

Bullying is when someone intentionally hurts another person, or group of people, by using words or actions that embarrass, intimidate or threaten them. Bullying is a repeated behaviour, it’s not just a one-off incident where someone is mean to another person. This means it’s different from having a fight with someone, or not liking someone. It is something that happens more than once, where one person wants to hurt or embarrass another person. You can read more about bullying on the Reachout and Youth BeyondBlue websites.

Bullying can come in many different forms and includes a wide range of behaviours. Here are some of the different types of bullying:


Includes teasing, name-calling, put downs, sexual harassment and threats.


Includes any physical violence like kicking, punching or pushing. It can also include stealing or damaging property. Sexual assault is also a form of physical violence.


Includes stalking, intimidation or playing mind games.


Includes being left out of social groups or situations, spreading rumours or ignoring someone.


Includes any type of bullying that takes place online like through email, social networking sites, text messages or instant messaging.

Sexual Harassment

Includes commenting on someone’s sex life, making sexual jokes, displaying unwanted sexual material (porn), asking for sexual favours and intrusive questions about your sex life.

What are the affects of bullying?

Being bullied can make you feel pretty horrible. It can make you feel lonely, sad, confused and really effect your self esteem. It can also affect your mental health making you feel depressed or anxious. Bullying can have some serious impacts so it’s important to ask for help if you are having a tough time at school or work.

What do I do if I’m being bullied?

If you are being bullied the most important thing is to remember that it is not your fault. Talk to someone you trust about it. This could be a friend, parent, teacher or school counsellor. If that sounds too scary you can call Kids Helpline or talk to one of their counsellor’s through their online counselling service. Talking about your problems can be hard but you’ll probably feel a lot better afterwards.

You can also try staying away from the person who is bullying you, and ignoring them if they try to talk to you. This might seem really difficult but if you don’t give the bully the reaction they’re looking for they might lose interest. If you are being bullied online, don’t reply to their messages, again they might lose interest. Try to hang out with people that make you feel good and make sure you look after yourself if you are feeling stressed or anxious. Do things you enjoy that might make you feel better.

Your school or workplace will have an anti-bullying policy in place, so if you are ready, tell your teacher or your boss about what’s going on. They will help you try to sort out what’s going on and put a stop to it. You have the right to feel safe at school and at work. Although it might be hard to talk to someone in charge about what is happening, they have probably dealt with similar situations before and will be able to help you. If this seems too hard talk to a parent, your school counsellor or call Kids Helpline to work out some strategies for telling your teacher, principal or boss.