If you are being bullied there are lots of people you can turn to for help. Please never, ever suffer in silence. Charlie is our online anti-bullying ambassador and has answered some Ambassador questions below.
Someone is bullying me online and on my phone and it is making me feel sad. What can I do?
Firstly TELL SOMEONE. Being cyber bullied (online or via a phone) can make you feel very lonely and scared so it is important you talk to someone about these problems with someone you trust, they will be able to help support you through the issue.
If the bullying is online you have a number of options. On most sites you can block the person and report them. To learn how to report or block someone on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Ask.fm:
- Facebook click https://www.facebook.com/safety/tools/
- Twitter https://support.twitter.com/safety
- Snapchat http://support.snapchat.com/a/block-friends
- Ask.fm http://safety.ask.fm/safety-tools/
If you are experience bullying via texts messages or you are experience nasty phone calls there are some measures in place to help you. Below is a diagram of who to block and number from contacting you if you have an iPhone or Android phone.
Alternatively if you have another phone you can contact your network provider and ask them to block a number from contacting you, this is very simple and takes around 10-15minutes. If you are experiencing abusive calls try putting your phone on speaker when with someone you trust so they can understand/hear what is going on.
Try to make sure that you:
- Don’t retaliate to the bullying
- Save all evidence of the bullying by screen grabbing the image on your phone or print screening it on your computer. You do this my clicking the prtscrn button and pasting the image into a document.
- Don’t share any information publicly about your home address or contact details
Cyber bullying comes under a law called the Malicious Communications Act 1988. If this issue can’t be resolved quickly and is affecting your safety you can report it to the police and they can investigate it as a crime.
Remember not to suffer in silence!
Other kids are calling me ‘gay’, ‘feminine’ and other words about my sexuality. How can I deal with this?
Insulting someone because of their difference is never acceptable. This comes in many forms such as racism, disabilist bullying, sexism, ageism and homophobia. All are against the law and should not be tolerated. Difference should be celebrated, not used as a reason to target someone.
If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender student, you have the right to feel safe from homophobic bullying in your school, college or community. You can:
- Inform a teacher at school or college about the comments being made and how they are impacting you and agree a way of dealing with it that is comfortable for you.
- Follow the positive example from other schools we have worked with and create a homophobic bullying campaign to involve the school as a whole.
- Seek support from a trusted friend about what’s happening.
- Get in touch with a local LGBT Youth Group for peer support.
My mates take banter too far, and their comments end up upsetting me. What can I do?
Understandingly you sound upset by what they are doing. I suppose you need to really think about how much these people are your 'friends'. Or whether a nickname, joke or 'banter' has gone too far. Perhaps you could try and be brave and tell one of them on their own how it is making you feel and ask them to stop and encourage others to stop too. They may not realise that their comments are making you feel like this. When they put you down, think about your reaction, try and be assertive, tell them you don't find it ok/funny. If you don't feel confident enough to do this verbally, then show them this in your body language/facial expressions. Maybe you could do a little exercise, draw your 'universe', a web of your friends/social group and see which ones are really close to you and good examples of friends and try and stick with them or maybe even discover new ones. If it happens in school or the workplace, try and discuss this with a witness/colleague/friend, see what their thoughts are, they might be able to help. Definitely make sure you speak to someone you trust about what's going, so they can support you and help you think of a solution.
What is ‘Sexting?’
‘Sexting’ is a word which typically refers to sex-related or nude photos/videos taken and shared via a mobile phone or tablet device. ‘Sexting’ isn’t just sharing photos or videos, but also explicit messages. These can be sent from a friend, partner or somebody you have met online.
Somebody keeps sending me naked pictures of themselves which I don’t want to see, what do I do?
Although it is very tempting to delete these images straight away it is important that you keep them so you can report the person. If you know the person ask them to stop sending you these pictures and tell them that they are making you feel uncomfortable. If these images are being sent through a messaging service such as Whatsapp, Snapchat or BBM, you can block or delete the user. If these images are being sent through a social networking site, you can report the photo or block the person through their Help & Safety Centre on their website. If you are under 18, then these images are breaking the law and can be reported to the police if you wish to do so. It is a good idea to speak to somebody you trust about how you are feeling about the situation.
To reduce the chance of this happening it is important that you don’t give your number out to anyone you don’t know and that you don’t put it on your social media site. Also make sure you only accept friend requests on social media sites and apps from people you know and trust.
Don’t send naked pictures to anyone who asks you to. Remember once you send that picture it is out of your control and the person can do what they want with the image. If someone is pressuring you to send them a naked picture of yourself try making the situation into a big of a joke by sending them one of the pictures from this ‘Zip It app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zipit/id721031543?ls=1&mt=8. You may also want to tell a trusted friend that you are receiving or being asked to send naked or inappropriate pictures.
I sent a naked picture to somebody now they are using the picture to get me to do other things, what do I do?
If somebody is blackmailing you and threatening to share an explicit image of you, you can fill out a report from on the CEOP Website or you can contact ChildLine (0800 11 11 or you can speak to somebody online) to talk about how you are feeling or if you have any worries.
If you are under 18, then these images are breaking the law and can be reported to the police if you wish to do so. It is a good idea to speak to somebody you trust about how you are feeling about the situation.
A naked picture of me is being sent around school, what do I do?
These situations can be embarrassing, however it is a good idea to talk to a trusted friend or school teacher about how you are feeling. Your teachers will have ways of dealing with these problems. The sooner you tell somebody, the easier it will be to stop the image being shared any further.
A naked picture of me got uploaded onto Facebook what do I do?
You can report the image through Facebook’s reporting option through the Help & Safety Centre. It is best to be sure that you report the photo under the correct category (pornography) so that it goes through to the correct team at Facebook and they can take the appropriate action to get the image removed.
Bullying on the Bus:
I am being bullied on the school bus, what can I do as it's not at school?
Sorry to hear this, that can't be the best start or finish to your day. That sort of behaviour is not acceptable, even outside of the school gates. My advice would be to think about where you can sit, if you have a choice, try and sit near to the driver or near to an adult (if there are any) or even an older student. I would also recommend speaking to your parents, they could speak to the bus company, and speak to your staff at school as they can also help out. If it's people from your school, then they can be punished for their behaviour to and from school. Try and identify them and tell a member of staff, who can investigate, don't worry you won't get in trouble, they will be able to make it look like they had reports from lots of students on the bus. Try speaking to some of your friends and seeing if they can save you a seat or maybe there is an older student you know that could sit with you and help you feel safe. Lots of schools suffer from this problem and sometimes a general announcement in assembly or speaking with individuals sorts the problem straight away, so do share what is going on with others. You won't be the only one who is nervous about getting the school bus that's for sure.
I am being bullied but I am scared to tell someone
Firstly I’m really glad that you want to tell someone as it is the most important step to helping stop the bullying. Please remember that it is not your fault that you are being bullied, it happens to lots of people for different reasons. Why don’t you try sitting down with your parent/guardian, teacher or friend and telling them that you are having some problems at school that are making you unhappy. If you don’t want to talk directly to them you could:
- Writing someone you trust a letter/email about how you are feeling
- Writing someone you trust an email explaining how you are feeling and what is going on.
- Talking to them face to face about how you are feeling.
- You could send someone you trust a text/instant message explaining the situation.
- You could record a video message and send it to someone you trust so it isn’t as scary telling them face to face but it enables you to let someone know what is going on.
- You could ask a close friend to explain to them what has been happening, you do not necessarily have to be there
Remember the issue can be resolved without the bully knowing you’ve told anyone. Tell the person what you do and do not want them to do. Your parent/guardian can report it to the school and the teacher can then tell other teachers and students to keep an eye on you without telling the bully that you have reported it. They can then talk to the bully when they see it happening. Try to avoid being alone too much.
If you don’t know or can’t think of anyone to tell try this easy exercise. Put your hand in front of you, think about 2 people inside of school and 3 people outside of school that you could feel comfortable talking to eg, dinner lady, a neighbour, a teacher, your grandma. You are not alone, people are here to help you and things will get better if you tell someone.
I have seen someone I care about being bullied. What do I do?
Those who see bullying happen to anyone but themselves, is referred to as a bystander. Those who are being bullied can find it difficult to tell anyone what is a happening to them, so it is important for us all to take a stand together to eradicate bullying.
You CAN help the person being bullied by:
- Approaching them separately to offer support.
- Support them in telling a person in authority or a parent that you have seen them being bullied.
- Intervene (if you feel brave enough) when someone is being bullied.
- Tell a trusted adult about what you have seen happening.
I have seen adults bully others. What can I do?
Nobody should have to be bullied by anyone else. Princess Diana believed that Young People have the power to change the world for the better, so this means that you as a Young Person you can challenge people, including adults that are behaving in ways that are not acceptable. This can be difficult to do, so you can also seek support from another young person or a trusted adult to address the issue with the adult carrying out the bullying.