European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

A picture
© shutterstock.com - Nejron Photo

Standing up to bullying

Bullying can take the form of physical or verbal abuse and usually takes place at school. Do you know what to do if you are the victim of bullying? Or if you see someone else being bullied?

The most common reasons for bullying are someone’s appearance, body size, sexual orientation and race. But bullying doesn't just mean physical violence; it includes any action meant to make the victim feel bad. Examples include pushing, hitting, tripping, name-calling, making insulting remarks, spreading rumours and damaging or stealing property.

 

What can you do?

Nobody should have to put up with being bullied, so if you are a victim or see someone being bullied, you should speak up. The European Crime Prevention Network offers advice on how to prevent and reduce acts of bullying at school.

One easy way is by participating in the International STAND UP to Bullying Day. This is a special event in which people across the world who have signed a special “pledge shirt” join together in wearing them to:

  • send a loud, non-confrontational message of resistance to bullies
  • identify themselves to victims as a source of support willing to help
  • draw attention to the effects of bullying, and stimulate passive bystanders into action.

The stand is taken globally, with pledge shirts and services being made available to schools and workplaces in 25 different countries. You just need to register online.

So far, more than 3100 schools, workplaces and organisations representing more than a million people have taken the STAND. Even though the movement started in North America, it's quickly spreading across the globe.

 

Bullying outside school.

Sometimes bullying also takes place outside school, including on the Internet. It can happen during after-school activities, while participating in team sports, at home, in the street and in the workplace. With cyber bullying, bullies will sometimes use texts, emails or online posts to spread embarrassing pictures, threats and offensive messages.