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Bullying → What it Is & What to Do
Bullying → What it Is & What to Do

While most people you meet will be kind, bullying can be a problem in any country. Here's how to spot bullying and what to do about it.

Updated over a week ago


Bullying is the worst. While most people you meet will be welcoming and kind, bullying can be a problem in any country. Name-calling, physical aggression, harsh teasing and making fun are types of bullying. If you feel like someone is bullying you or acting aggressively toward you, talk to your host parents or an educator at your school right away. Don’t fight the battle alone. There are many people ready and willing to help you. Remember that bullies struggle with their own insecurities, and that their behavior reflects poorly on them (not you).

What is Bullying?

  • Bullying is repeated mean behavior that has a negative affect on a person’s wellbeing.

  • Bullying can be physical, verbal and/or emotional.

  • Bullying can be inflicted by an individual or a group of people.

  • Bullying may occur at school, at home, at work, on public transport or online.

Examples of Bullying

  • Harassing someone based on their gender, race, culture, religion, accent, sexuality or disability.

  • Repeatedly hurting someone physically, such as hitting, slapping, pushing or restraining them.

  • Sending abusive, threatening, explicit or upsetting messages to someone via text or on social media.

  • Writing nasty comments about someone online.

  • Sharing embarrassing videos or photos of someone online or via text message without their consent.

  • Spreading rumours about a person, calling them names or making rude gestures.

  • Stalking

You may feel…

  • Guilty, like it is your fault (even though it is not)

  • Ashamed and embarrassed

  • Alone, like there is no-one to help you

  • Scared to talk about it

  • Like you don’t fit in socially

  • Unsafe and afraid to attend school or work

  • Physically sick

What you can do

1. Ask for help.

Talk to your homestay host, your parents, a teacher or friend. You do not have to go through this alone. If you feel that you are in immediate/serious danger, always call 911.

2. Speak to the bully.

Try not to be aggressive, but confidently ask the person to stop saying or doing what it is that’s hurting you. If they will not stop, resist the urge to argue with them or escalate things. Ignore them the best you can and then ask for help.

3. Focus on your wellbeing.

Stay healthy with exercise/sports, try meditating or listen to music. Try to not let the bully's words or actions take over your life.

4. Spend time doing things you enjoy.

Hang out with your friends, go to the movies or take up a new hobby so you are not focusing on the bullying.

5. Block or report them

If you are being bullied online, try contacting the person to resolve the issue in a calm way first. If the bullying continues, take a screenshot of the messages or posts, block the person and report it.

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