Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.


Between 2005 and 2017, the percentage of students ages 12—18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year decreased from 29 to 20 percent. In 2017, about 15 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported being electronically bullied during the previous 12 months.

Source:NCES

What are the signs?


There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help.

It is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. These warning signs can also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school

Who can be a victim?

Anyone can become a victim of bullying, but sometimes there are particular groups that bullies seek after.

  • Children with low self esteem
  • Foster care children
  • LGBTQ Youth
  • Disengaged Youth
  • Loners

Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying or something else is a concern. Resource:Stopbullying.gov

Need Help?

If you have done everything you can to resolve the situation and nothing has worked, or someone is in immediate danger, there are ways to get help.