Aspire to Believe CIC




What is bullying: (definition)

Bullying is:

  • deliberately hurtful behaviour
  • often repeated over a period of time
  • difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves

Bullying can be verbal, physical or psychological. 

It can be any of the following:
  • Humiliating or embarrassing someone deliberately
  • Spreading Rumours
  • Taking someone's best friend
  • Hiding someone's possessions
  • Pulling faces/sniggering
  • Blackmailing someone
  • Whispering things about them
  • Texting unkind or hurtful things (sometimes anonymously)
  • Send abusive messages via email, chat rooms or web pages

Signs to look out for:
  • Cuts, bruises or aches and pains, which are not adequately explained
  • Frown or look unhappy
  • Clothes or possessions are damaged or lost
  • The child or young person requests extra money or starts stealing
  • The child or young person starts leaving home or returning home at an earlier or later time, or uses a different route.
  • The child or young person starts to avoid the company of a particular person or group of people
  • The child or young person loses interest in a previously favoured activity
  • The child or young person is reluctant to return to a particular place or activity
  • A marked change in the child or young person's behaviour
  • Attendance begins to suffer
  • Concentration and school performance deteriorate
  • Behaviour becomes more immature or there is a re-appearance of previously resolved problem behaviour
  • Behaviour becomes withdrawn, moody, aggressive or uncooperative.
  • Child or young person tries to move away from the aggressor
  • Do not take turns, the aggressor remaining dominant throughout
  • Attract other children or young people's attention
  • There is sleep (including bed wetting) or appetite problems

Types of bullying to be aware of:
(follow links for further definition:)

  1. Verbal
  2. Physical
  3. Emotional
  4. Sexual or Sexist
  5. Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic
  6. Special Education Needs and Disablist
  7. Race and Faith
  8. Cyber and Sexting
  9. Appearance Related



















Verbal Bullying
When someone is called names through teasing, taunting or making offensive remarks.  Verbal bullying can also include threatening language, comments or graffiti.

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Physical Bullying    
This includes threatening gestures, pushing, prodding, hitting, kicking, taking possessions that belong to the victim and forcing other people to do something they do not want to do.


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Emotional/Psychological Bullying
When someone is being intimidated by another person or group of people, is left out of games, deliberately ignored and has rumours spread about them, making them feel like an outsider.

Girls bullying
Girls bully by using emotional violence. They do things that make others feel alienated and alone. Some of the tactics used by girls who bully include: 

  • anonymous prank phone calls or harassing emails from false accounts
  • playing jokes or tricks designed to embarrass and humiliate
  • deliberate exclusion of other kids for no real reason
  • whispering in front of other kids with the intent to make them feel left out
  • name calling, rumour spreading and other malicious verbal interactions
  • being friends one week and then turning against a peer the next week with no incident or reason for the alienation
  • encouraging their peers to ignore or pick on a specific child
  • inciting others to carry out violent or aggressive acts


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Sexist or sexual bullying
Sexist or sexual bullying is when someone (or group), usually repeatedly, harms another person or intentionally makes them unhappy because of their sex. The root cause of these forms of bullying is gender inequality.

This bullying is based on sexist attitudes that when expressed demean, intimidate or harm another person because of their sex or gender.

Sexual bullying affects girls and boys. It may include issues relating to:

  • comments about looks or appearance
  • abusive name calling
  • physical contact - inappropriate and uninvited touching
  • sexual innuendo
  • showing material of a sexual nature, intending to cause upset
  • misuse of IT equipment e.g. mobile phones, computers etc
  • sending text messages, email or msn messages of a sexual nature, intending to cause upset
  • 'happy slapping' using pictures of the victim in a sexual/perverted way
  • propositions
  • domestic violence
  • threats of using photos on the internet - control
  • at its most extreme, sexual assault/abuse.

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Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic bullying


Any hostile or offensive action against lesbians, gay males, bisexuals or transgender or those perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. 
These actions might be:

  • verbal, physical, or emotional (social exclusion) harassment, insulting or degrading comments, name calling, gestures, taunts, insults or 'jokes'
  • offensive graffiti
  • humiliating, excluding, tormenting, ridiculing or threatening refusing to work or co-operate with others because of their sexual orientation or identity

The fear or dislike of someone who identifies as Bi. Bisexual (Bi) refers to a person who has an emotional and/or sexual orientation towards more than one gender.

For more information please visit


Bullying behaviour towards someone who is transgender.  'Transgender' is an umbrella term that describes someone whose sense of gender or gender identity is seen as being different to the typical gender norms.


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Special Educational Needs and Disablist Bullying

When someone is being verbally, physically or emotionally bullied because of their learning difficulties or disabilities.

A young person with SEN and disabilities may:

  • be affected by the negative attitude towards disabilities and be unable to defend themselves against a bully;
  • have few friends so are further isolated by incidents;
  • be unable to recognise bullying when it occurs or find it difficult to tell others that they are being bullied.
  • Bullying can be anything from 'low level' harassment in the classroom to more serious incidents such as physical assaults in the school playground or community.

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Race and Faith Bullying
Refers to a range of hurtful behaviour; both physical and psychological, that makes a person feel unwelcome, marginalised, excluded, powerless or worthless because of their colour, ethnicity, culture, faith community, national origin or national status.  This also includes the travelling community.
It can include:

  • physical, verbal or emotional bullying
  • insulting or degrading comments, name calling, gestures, taunts, insults or 'jokes'
  • offensive graffiti
  • humiliating, excluding, tormenting, ridiculing or threatening
  • making fun of the customs, music, accent or dress of anyone from a different culture refusal to work with or co-operate with others because they are from a different culture
  • wearing provocative badges or insignia
  • showing/talking about racist literature
  • incitement of others to behave in a racist way
  • racist comments in the course of discussion in lessons

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Cyber Bullying including Sexting


Cyber Bullying
When a person, or group of people, uses the internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies, to threaten, tease or abuse someone.

  • Text message bullying involves sending unwelcome texts that are threatening or cause discomfort.
  • Picture/video-clip bullying via mobile phone cameras is used to make the person being bullied feel threatened or embarrassed, with images usually sent to other people. 'Happy slapping' involves filming and sharing physical attacks.
  • Phone call bullying via mobile phone uses silent calls or abusive messages. Sometimes the bullied person's phone is stolen and used to harass others, who then think the phone owner is responsible. As with all mobile phone bullying, the perpetrators often disguise their numbers, sometimes using someone else's phone to avoid being identified.
  • Email bullying uses email to send bullying or threatening messages, often using a pseudonym for anonymity or using someone else's name to pin the blame on them.
  • Chat room bullying involves sending menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room
  • Bullying through instant messaging (IM) & Social Networking is an Internet-based form of bullying where children and young people are sent unpleasant messages as they conduct real-time conversations online.
  • Bullying via websites includes the use of defamatory blogs (web logs), personal websites and online personal polling sites. There has also been a significant increase in social networking sites for young people, which can provide new opportunities for cyber bullying



Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages.

They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops - any device that allows you to share media and messages.

Sexting may also be called:

  • Trading Nudes
  • Dirties
  • Pic for Pic 
For more information visit


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Appearance Related Bullying

Bullying that targets an aspect of a person's appearance. It could be that they are bullied for their size, height or disfigurement.