A definition of bullying

There is no legal definition of bullying. But it is usually defined as repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.

What types of bullying are there?

  • Bullying related to race, religion or culture
  • Bullying related to SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disability)
  • Bullying related to appearance or physical / mental health conditions
  • Bullying related to sexual orientation (homophobic and biphobic bullying)
  • Bullying of young carers, children in care or otherwise related to home circumstances
  • Sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying
  • Bullying via technology – "cyberbullying"

Is it bullying or banter?

It can be confusing for someone to try and work out whether the name calling is banter or bullying. A young person going through something like this might feel intimidated or feel under pressure not to make a fuss because others are saying it is just a joke. If it is a one off incident then it may be that it is banter. However, if the name calling becomes persistent and regular, then this is bullying. It is equally about how you feel too, if it makes you uncomfortable and you have told them to stop but they are still name calling, then this is what we call verbal bullying. The verbal bullying can be anything about weight, appearance, racist, sexual or homophobic bullying.