Bullying can happen to anyone.

Up to one in four young people have experienced bullying at some point, with one in five experiencing it online.

What is bullying?

Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical or social behaviour that causes physical or psychological harm.

It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).

Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.

Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

Bullying has three main features:

  • It involves a misuse of power in a relationship
  • It is ongoing and repeated
  • It involves behaviours that can cause harm.

Read more on the national definition of bullying for Australian schools.

For parents

It can be distressing to learn that your child is being bullied. Children and young people need to know that they are being heard, that their feelings matter and that their issue will be investigated respectfully. Bullying should be taken seriously.

For the community

Everyone has a role in creating safe and supportive places for children and young people.

In 2018 extensive community consultation was undertaken, with people across Queensland contributing their thoughts and solutions on how to tackle cyberbullying. From this, the Queensland Anti-cyberbullying Taskforce produced the Adjust our Settings report, with 29 recommendations to address the issue.

You can find out more about the report, and the Queensland Government response.

Alternatively, find out more about other things you can do as a community member to help address bullying.

For schools

Providing students with opportunities to talk about bullying is an important part of making a positive change.

Further resources

National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence

Friday 16 March 2018

Australia’s biggest anti‑bullying event for schools

Find a mental health service

Need someone to talk to about specific mental health concerns?

Find a mental health service that helps to address what you’re looking for.

Queensland Youth Engagement Hub

An online space where kids can have their say on what is on their mind – including bullying issues.

Indigenous mental health services

Indigenous-specific mental health support services to help deal with bullying are available.

Disability and mental health support

Find out more about the impacts of bullying for a person with a disability, including how to make a complaint.

Talking Families

A website dedicated to how to ask for help from your friends and family when you need it.

Queensland Family and Child Commission

Working to make Queensland a safe and supported place where children, young people and their families thrive.