Work place bullying

How to identify if you're being bullied at work, how to stop it, and advice on getting support


Bullied children 'are more likely to bully other kids'

Nearly a quarter of 12 to 20-year-olds who've been bullied go on to bully other children and teenagers.

The findings also suggest that more than twice as many boys (66%) as girls (31%) bully. Half of all kids and teenagers say they've been bullied at some point in the past year.

That's according to a survey by anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label.

It spoke with with 8,850 people aged between 12 and 20.

Around a third of people who admitted bullying others said they rarely or very rarely spent time with their parents.

For help and advice on bullying, visit BBC Advice.

Almost the same number said they had arguments every day at home.

The findings suggest people who bully others are more likely to have suffered a traumatic event, such as their parents splitting up or a major family fall-out.

Tyler Bonner, 22, from Chichester, has told Newsbeat that he started bullying other children while at school because he was unhappy at home.

"When I was about six, my mum passed away and that caused a lot of friction in the family home, just in terms of my behaviour and how I reacted to the whole situation.

"I was very angry with the world and would ask myself, 'Why is this happening to me?'

"Because I didn't know how to ask for help and I was a mess, I would then go into school and think, 'OK. Because my life's rubbish, that means I need to make sure everyone knows that my life is rubbish.'

"So I then passed that on to other people. It would never become physical. It was only ever verbal and I'd find someone who was different. So someone who was tall, short, fat, thin. It could be anything but I made their life a misery.

"It's not something that I'm proud of obviously."

The survey also found 44% of 12 to 20-year-olds who've been bullied suffer depression, 33% have suicidal thoughts and 31% go on to self-harm.

Ditch the Label founder and CEO Liam Hackett said bullying often has a huge impact on the health, welfare and future prospects of millions of children and teenagers.

Tyler says he bullied other children between years seven and nine at school but eventually realised he had to stop being an idiot and get on with his GCSEs.

He says if you're a bully, or being bullied, you need to ask for help.

"It's not big, it's not clever," he's told Newsbeat. "There's no point making other people's lives a misery just because you don't know how to ask for help or you don't know what's going on.

"You may find you end up causing problems for those people later in life.

"They may think they can't achieve their dreams or they can't see where they want to be in life because of what you said or did to them."

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Bullying: How one 13 year old stood up and made a difference


A 13-year-old fights internet bullying the smart way

  • 6 hours ago

Luke Culhane fought back against abusive messages and social media posts in a brave way - by appearing in his own powerful video, which went viral.



Childnet Internationalis a non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

Childnet International


Studio 14, Brockley Cross Business Centre
96 Endwell Road
London SE4 2PD


+44 (0)20 7639 6967


Further advice and resources:


Be someone to tell

Signs of a child being bullied

Child bullying very often takes places in the teaching environment, whether it be in the actual grounds of the school or the journey to and from school where very often an adult is not present  as a bully is wise to when they attack so the signs may be unseen. Children being bullied especially at school may show the following signs;

  • Reluctant to want to go to school – the child may seem tense when waking and make reasons for not wanting to go to school. They may refuse breakfast and seem on edge or anxious
  • Constant worry about school – the child may talk of school in a negative manner and issues regarding school may increase
  • Doing less well at school – often children are picked on at school for their intellectual ability as bullies may fear their cleverness and are unable to strive as much as the victim
  • Creating phantom illnesses such stomach and headaches – often children complain of illnesses that might not be present inorder to stay at home and not attend school
  • Negative perception on life and a decline in confidence – children being bullied can be withdrawn and show no prospects of achieving well in life
  • Not wanting to go out or participate in activities – bullies may be from the same area so the child being bullied is fearful of going out incase they have an encounter with the bully or simply be bullied by a different child or group of children
  • Eating habits change, the child may even lose weight – feeling anxious can often leave the child feeling nauseous or ill and not wanting to eat
  • Difficulty in sleeping even wetting the bed may become an issue – children being bullied may often find it difficult in sleeping and wetting the bed can be a common occurrence
  • Aggressive at home or impatient and angry – the child may show aggression towards its parents or other siblings as a way of releasing its anger and tension
  • Most concerning of all physical signs such as bruising, and loss or broken possessions – bullies can often physically harm the child they are bullying by hitting, kicking, shoving, pushing or even punching their victims. Bullies often take possessions off their victims

Being bullied is not pleasant for any child and many children who experience such events will not want to talk about it. If a child is showing signs mentioned above it may not always be that they are being bullied so be patient and understanding.

Source: is a website that contains articles about bullying in different settings such as Care Homes. It also looks at the reasons behind bullying.




What a fabulous,selfless,amazing girl.  She is a role model and a troubleshooter.


In the fall of 2013, Trisha Prabhu, then 13 year old girl from Naperville, IL, read a news story about the suicide of an 11 year old girl from Florida who had been repeatedly cyber-bullied by her classmates. She was shocked, heartbroken, and outraged. How could a girl younger than herself be pushed to take her own life? She knew, something had to change.


The result was ReThink! ReThink is a result of Trisha’s ground-breaking research aimed


ReThink before the  damage is done.

Passionate to stop cyberbullying in adolescents, Trisha Prabhu created ReThink, an non-intrusive, innovative and patented technology solution that stops cyberbullying at the source, before the damage is done. Research has found that with ReThink, adolescents change their mind 93% of the time and decide not to post an offensive message on social media. ReThink was selected as one of the top 15 Google Science Fair Global Finalists. Trisha has spoken passionately about the cause of conquering cyberbullying using ReThink on several national and international platforms and forums. 

ReThink  is a non-intrusive, innovative, patented software product  that effectively stops cyberbullying before the damage is done.

The world is currently in the midst of a technology revolution. There are 1.8 billion teens around the globe, and technology is increasingly at the hands of every adolescent. With more adolescents being online, more are getting cyberbullied. Cyberbullied victims suffer from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and more likely to drop out of school. Several solutions that are in place today address bullying after the damage is done. ReThink is the first ever solution to proactively prevent cyberbullying before the damage is done.

ReThink is conquering this silent pandemic one message at a time.

To install ReThink on an Android Device click here  or  Visit Google Play Store on device and search for "rethinkwords" or "rethink trisha"

To install ReThink on an iOS Device click here   or   Visit iOS App Store on device and search for "rethinkwords" or "rethink trisha"



Bullying is not cool

Bullying affects everyone involved and no one comes out the winner.It can be physically and/or mentally abusive. In whichever form it takes, it is cruel and it is unecessary.

By law, all state (not private) schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils.From my experience, private schools can sometimes be the worst platform for bullying. In whatever environment it takes place, it is damaging and it can be deadly.

 Bullying takes place outside school (usually on the journey to and from school)

You should know that Head teachers have the legal power to make sure pupils behave outside of school premises (state schools only).This includes bullying that happens anywhere off the school premises, eg on public transport or in a town centre.

School staff can also choose to report bullying to the police or local council.



Where to get help and advice

There are lots of organisations that provide support and advice if you’re worried about bullying:


There is no legal definition of bullying.

However, it’s usually defined as behaviour that is:

  • repeated
  • intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
  • often aimed at certain groups, eg because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation

It takes many forms and can include:

  • physical assault
  • teasing
  • making threats
  • name calling
  • cyberbullying - bullying via mobile phone or online (eg email, social networks and instant messenger)

Your school should have its own definition of bullying.


ACAS - (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations.

Anti-bullying Alliance is a coalition of organisations and individuals working together to stop bullying and create safe environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

Bullying UK – part of Family Lives. Provides help on all forms of bullying - at school, cyberbullying, racism, homophobia, bullying in sport etc.

Childnet International - information, advice, resources for children, parents and getting the most out of new technology and safe and responsible us.

EACH - Education Action Challenging Homophobia - challenges homophobia, specifically homophobic bullying, through education.

EyePAT - online safety and anti-bullying training for a variety of groups such as schools, social workers, foster carers and those who include children or vulnerable adults; as well as bullying in the workplace.

Kidscape - anti-bullying helpline for parents.

Network for Surviving Stalking - Network for Surviving Stalking aims to provide support to victims, potential victims and others affected by stalking/harassment throughout the UK.

Red Balloon - Provide an 'intensive care' full-time education for children aged between 9 and 18 who are unable to go to school because they have been severely bullied or who have suffered trauma.

Schools out  - provides a support network to raise the issue of homophobia in schools

STANCE - the comprehensive 'Whole School' resource pack for addressing homophobic bullying.

Stonewall - working for positive change for gay lesbian and bisexual people in the UK with an education program: Education for all

PAPYRUS – prevention of young suicide - resources and helpline support for those dealing with suicidal feelings or emotional distress.

Samaritans - emotional support to anyone in distress or at risk of suicide.

Understanding Childhood - provides free downloadable information leaflets for families and childcare professionals to help raise emotionally secure children


Other useful sites that are related to self harming which often transpires from bullying:


Harmless - provides information, support, training and consultancy for people who self harm, as well as their friends, families and professionals.

National Self Harm Network - our priority is to support survivors and people who self-harm. We also support the people it indirectly affects, like family and friends, they can discuss the issue and gain effective support in our forums.

Young Minds - supporting people who self-harm. We also support the people it indirectly affects, like family and friends, they can discuss the issue and gain effective support in our forums.


The Family Lives website at gives plenty of information on many different types of bullying from cuber bullying to bullying on social media. it also provides links to other useful websites:


Bullying in the workplace

Bullying does not just happen at school. It can and does occur at any age and in any environment. Bullying and harassment is behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Examples of bullying or harassing behaviour include:

  • spreading malicious rumours
  • unfair treatment
  • picking on someone
  • regularly undermining a competent worker
  • denying someone’s training or promotion opportunities

Bullying and harassment can happen:

  • face-to-face
  • by letter
  • by email
  • by phone

The law

Bullying itself isn’t against the law, but harassment is. This is when the unwanted behaviour is related to one of the following:

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

What employees should do if they’re bullied or harassed

Employees should see if they can sort out the problem informally first. If they can’t, they should talk to their:

  • manager
  • human resources (HR) department
  • trade union representative

If this doesn’t work, they can make a formal complaint using their employer’s grievance procedure. If this doesn’t work and they’re still being harassed, they can take legal action at an employment tribunal.

They could also call the Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) helpline for advice:

Acas helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 1100
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm
Find out about call charges

Acas has also produced a guidance leaflet on bullying and harassment.


Mind's website has information about how to deal with the mental effects that bullying can have on someone:


Mind Infoline

tel: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Details of local Minds and other local services, and Mind's Legal Advice Line.  Language Line is available for talking in a language other than English



Promotes employment relations. See 'bullying and harrassment' in A-Z

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) 

tel: 01455 883 300 

For practitioners in your area

Citizens Advice

advice lines: 08444 111 444 (England); 0844 477 2020 (Wales)
TextRelay service: 08444 111 445
web: with online advice from their

Confidential advice on a range of issues, including employment

Employment Tribunal Guidance

tel: 0845 795 9775

Gives guidance on the tribunal system

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Equality Advisory Support Service tel: 0800 444 205
textphone: 0800 444 206

Information and advice on equality and rights issues



Information about employment rights and help for disabled people

Health and Safety Executive


The national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness

Jobcentre plus


For help finding a job.

The Stress Management Society

tel: 0203 142 8650

Helps people tackle stress

The Work Foundation 


Independent foundation looking at work issues

Working Families

tel: 0300 013 0312

Information on achieving work-life balance