What to do about bullying out of school hours

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Lots of people tell Bullying UK that they get bullied out of school, often by people they know from school but sometimes by people who live nearby. If the people bullying you are at school with you then your parents need to talk to your class teacher or head of year about what's happening in case trouble spills over at school.Although schools can take action about bullying on the journey to and from school they will be less keen to do anything about bullying that happens at the weekend or in the holidays.

Stay safe in the street

If you feel worried about running into trouble at home see if you can get friends to come to your home so that you can go out together. Take a different route to the shops and if it's dark stick to well lit streets. You could also get a personal safety alarm. These cost about £6 and you can get them in the home security section of DIY stores.

If people shout insults at you it's important not to reply, walk away and then make a note of it later. They will be doing this because they know it upsets you and also because they think it makes them look big in front of their friends.

It's very important that you tell your parents or whoever cares for you if you have been threatened or attacked in the street. Always tell your parents where you are going.

The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 so if people who are bullying you are older than that your parents could make a complaint to the police. Hitting or kicking you is an assault and calling you names or making rude gestures to you over and over again could be harassment. It's not easy for the police to know who is telling the truth so if you are bullied like this keep a diary of who says and does what and also who else was there and saw what was going on.

Bystanders have a vital role

Unfortunately young people who witness bullying like this are often afraid to tell the police what they saw in case they get bullied too so it can be helpful if you know the names of adults who have seen this happening to you.

There are now police community support officers and they often help in cases like this by talking to both sides and trying to sort it out before it gets out of hand.

In serious cases the police will take statements and might recommend that charges are brought against the bully. If the bully admits what they have done the case might not go to court but the bully might get a caution instead which is an official warning. There are other people who can help apart from the police.

Trouble with neighbours

If there is trouble between families who live in council or housing association homes then the council might arrange mediation to see if the problem can be sorted out.

In serious cases where young people are violent and abusive the police or council can apply for an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) or their parents could be warned that if they keep misbehaving the family could be made to move out of their rented home.

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers through Live Chat, email us or call our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums.  Family Lives is here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

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