What is bullying?

All agencies are invited to adopt the Torfaen definition of bullying, developed by children, young people and adults in the borough:

"Bullying behaviour involves an imbalance of power where a person or group of people repeatedly and intentionally cause emotional or physical harm to another person or group of people. Isolated instances of hurtful behaviour, teasing or arguments between individuals of equal power should not be seen as bullying"

Bullying generally takes one of four forms:

  • Verbal
  • Physical
  • Indirect
  • Cyber

Although not an exhaustive list, common examples of bullying include:

  • Racial bullying
  • Homophobic bullying
  • Sexual bullying

Bullying can also be based on disability, ability, gender, appearance or circumstance.

It is important that when dealing with alleged incidents of bullying, individual perspectives are taken into account. If a child, young person or adult states that bullying is happening, action must be taken to determine why this allegation has been made. There will be occasions when children and young people physically or emotionally hurt others without meaning to do so, and it is important that appropriate support is provided to both parties, but the behaviour need not be labelled as bullying. It is also important to be mindful that extreme instances of bullying that include harassment could be treated as a criminal offence.