Bullying occurs when people use words or actions repeatedly against an individual or a group, causing distress and risk to their wellbeing. Bullies are usually in a position of power or influence over the person they bully. They usually want to make the person feel less powerful or helpless.
Bullying affects everyone differently, but if you’re being bullied you may feel:
- guilty because you think it’s your fault
- hopeless because you don’t know how to get out of the situation
- alone, with no one to help you
- depressed and rejected by others
- unsafe and afraid
- confused and stressed
- ashamed that it’s happening to you.
Bullying can affect your mental health at any age. It can lead to loneliness, anxiety and depression in children. People who are bullied in the workplace have a higher risk than others of experiencing depression and having suicidal thoughts.
Remember, you have a right to feel safe and be treated with fairness and respect. Find out more about your rights on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.
Last reviewed: October 2014