Bullying is intimidation — it can take many forms and happens in lots of places. It’s never OK, its not your fault and there are things that you can do to stop it.

There are some good web sites that offer solid advice on things that you can do to stop bullies, but first here are the basics:

  • ignore them / walk away — often bullying is just to get attention. If you can ignore or avoid them they don’t get the attention that they’re after
  • calmly tell them to stop — try not to shout or get aggressive — that just gets them more attention
  • tell an adult — preferably someone in a position to take some action
  • be a friend — if you see someone else being bullied try to stop it. Its harder for bullies to pick on people who have the support of a group. Tell the victim it is not their fault and encourage them to talk to a trusted adult.

Bullying can take many forms, from name calling or spreading lies to physical or written abuse. It can also include coercion — making someone do something they don’t want to do and exclusion of particular individuals.

Text , cyber bullying, and online safety

Bullying via cellphones and social media has been in the news a lot. If you’re in New Zealand you can phone your mobile provider for free:

Netsafe has information for teens on online safety.

Cyber bullying includes nasty and unwelcome texts, emails or messages on social networking or chat sites.

Do not reply to messages but do keep copies of the messages so that you can report them to the website owner or the phone company.

Some helpful websites

Harassment and Abuse on Phones and Mobiles
Dealing with cell phone bullies in New Zealand. From the Internet Safety Group.

Online bullying and harrassment
Information from Netsafe that offers guidance for young people, parents, caregivers, teachers, and principals who want help to understand and deal with bullying that takes place in online.

That's Not Cool
Thatsnotcool.com is designed to address new and complicated problems between teens who are dating or hooking up - problems like constant and controlling texting, pressuring for nude pictures, and breaking into someone's email or social networking page.