Bullying (Young People)

If you are being bullied, or know a friend who is being bullied, you can find help and advice below.


Bullying and Gypsy, Roma, Traveller children 

Gypsies and Travellers are particularly vulnerable to bullying and in turn, discrimination. Under the Equality Act 2010, discrimination against Travellers on the basis of ethnic background is classed as racism and should be treated as such.

Data from the Gypsy and Traveller Law Book suggests that Gypsy, Roma, Traveller pupils face or expect racism and bullying, with 90% of children experiencing racial abuse. Moreover, they argue that the school’s staff response to these instances of bullying and discrimination are insufficient. The large amount of bullying received by  Traveller children also corresponds with the low level of participation and attainment within the education system.

Anti-bullying strategies should be put in place within schools and guidance given by the Dfe suggest that schools must be proactive in preventing bullying against ethnic minorities such as Travellers.

Bullying includes:

  • People calling you names
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Taking things away from you
  • Damaging your belongings
  • Stealing your money
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Spreading rumours
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls
  • Sending you offensive messages
  • Posting insulting messages online
  • Bullies can also frighten you so that you don’t want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them.

If you are being bullied, tell a friend, a teacher, your parents or someone in your family like a grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin. If possible, write down information to share with your teacher or parents so you can explain what happened and when.

Mobile Phones

If you have a mobile phone, be careful who you give your number to and who you accept friend requests from. If you receive threatening or abusive phone calls or texts then tell your parents. It is a criminal offence to send offensive or threatening phone messages and if it continues, it can also be considered to be harassment.

If you are receiving threatening or malicious messages then you can go to the police with all of the messages you have received. If you have the ability to record calls on your handset then take a recording too. The police will then work to stop the problem you are having. If you are receiving text messages that you don’t want to, you can easily stop receiving them by turning off incoming messages on your handset for a while or by blocking an individual number.


Be careful when you are online. A number of message boards have been used by online bullies and sometimes anti-Gypsy bullies. Be careful who you give your phone number to and do not allow anyone to contact you who you do not know and trust in real life. NEVER meet someone you have made friends with over the internet by yourself.

For Help and Advice, contact:

Childline –  0800 1111
NSPCC – 0808 800 5000 (textphone: 0800 056 0566)
Find out more about how to stay safe online.


Listen to the story of Amy, a Fairground girl in Scotland on the Anti-Bullying Network website.

Friends, Families and Travellers is proud to be a Core member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, a coalition of organisations and individuals that are united against bullying.


Willers. M & Johnson. C. Gypsy and Traveller Law, Legal Action Group, 2020

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