Anti-bullying week 15th-19th November 2021


Anti-bullying week 
15th-19th November 2021

Bullying - it's just awful and totally unnecessary right?  It happens in every aspect of our lives: family, friends, education, workplace...and yet sometimes we don't recognise it.  Bullying is not just a physical action but also psychological and emotional torment.  As years have passed, and more so with the increasing presence of technology, bullying has become more prevalent and especially in the case of cyber-bullying, has given the perpetrators the means to hide behind a screen.

What is bullying?

The Anti-bullying Alliance describes bullying as:

"Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online."  ANTI-BULLYING ALLIANCE, Definition of bullying [1].

Power - a key word here in the definition of bullying.  The use of power, whether it is physical or verbal, over another.  I'll look at what's behind this need for power in a while but let's look at the different types of bullying.

Types of bullying

Physical bullying - the repeated use of physical contact to assault and cause harm to another person.

Social bullying - normally conducted covertly by spreading rumours to harm someone's reputation, encouragement of others to exclude someone.  Overt humiliation in front of others in a group.

Verbal bullying - name calling, threatening behaviour, belittling.

Cyber-bulling - using technology to deliver bullying messages, threats, posting of humiliating material.

Sexualised bullying - where sexuality or gender is used as a basis for torment.  Involves degradation, use of sexual language and the encouragement of promiscuous behaviour.

Racial bullying - using someone's race, culture, skin colour, appearance, clothing to administer verbal or physical torment and abuse.

Impact of bullying

The consequences of bullying are vast and so detrimental.  These can be, but not limited to:

  • Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • Substance misuse
  • Self harm
  • Suicide
  • Health complaints
  • Eating disorders
  • Decrease in academic success
  • Retaliation
  • Projection of feelings onto others in the form of violence
What's behind bullying - why does it happen?

There are numerous reasons why people bully others and here are some of the most commonly reported reasons [2]:
  • Fear - of others, of being bullied themselves, of those who are different to them.
  • Ignorance - fearing what they don't understand can lead to bullying.
  • Being bullied themselves can lead to bullying others
  • Unhappiness - lack of attention and love in their own lives.
  • Prejudice - being taught that people different to them are a threat can lead to bullying.
  • Learned behaviour - witnessing others, family members bullying others.
  • To fit in - to gain a sense of belonging in a group.
  • Jealousy - of other people's looks, social status, education, success, popularity.
  • To gain power over another.
Whatever the reasons for bullying, it is never acceptable and should always be challenged in any environment that is occurs.  Understanding why bullying happens and approaching the perpetrator with compassion and regard can help to reduce bullying.  More often than not, they are in as much need of help as the victim and when this is addressed, the impact on reducing bullying can be huge.  A restorative approach to rebuilding relationships can also help both the victim and perpetrator understand the effects of bullying behaviour and the reasons behind it.

I hope this blog has given you some useful information and remember, be kind....always.

Best wishes
Hayley McAuley

Useful viewing

Useful websites


[1] Anti-bullying Alliance available at

[2] Stomp Out Bullying available at


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