Homophobic bullying does not only affect lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) young people. Anyone who is perceived as different can become a target of homophobic bullying. Like any other form of bullying, homophobic bullying can be distressing for your child and can affect their confidence and well-being. As a parent or carer you can play an important role in making sure your child - regardless of their sexual orientation – has someone to turn to if they are being bullied and that they feel included and valued – at home and at school.
One of the most important things you can do as a parent or carer to be there to listen. Many young people find it difficult to talk about being homophobically bullied because they are afraid of what others might think. Some young people who experience homophobic bullying are afraid to tell anyone because they think people will assume they are lesbian, gay or bisexual. It is therefore important that you give your child time and space to talk to you about it. You should not just assume that your child is LGB just because they are being homophobically bullied. You should also make sure your child knows that you respect, value and support them whatever their sexual orientation.
You may find it difficult to talk about homophobic bullying. However, this should not be a reason to ignore the issue if you suspect your child is being bullied. There are a number of sources of information and advice you can contact such as Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays orStonewall’s Information Line (08000 50 20 20, email@example.com).
If your child is experiencing homophobic bullying you should discuss with them any further steps you should take and speak to a teacher or head teacher at your child’s school. Schools have a legal obligation to deal with homophobic bullying under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and to fulfill the requirements for Every Child Matters.
Read more: Learn more homophobic bullying | parentlineplus | parents - BullyingUK Registered Charity 1120107
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