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Cardiff Council

Bullying, Hate Crime, Hate Incidents and Harassment

​​​​​​​​​Bullying ​​​​

Bullying affects over half of the UK’s young people.

Cardiff Council is committed to the elimination of all forms of bullying and harassment. 

Cardiff defines bullying as:
“Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts others either physically or emotionally.”

Every member of the community has the right to work and learn without fear of bullying or harassment of any kind including sexual or racial victimisation. The damaging results of bullying are of concern to everyone involved in education within the Authority. The stress for victims of bullying will have far-reaching effects on their personal and social development as well as a considerable impact on their educational achievement and the educational achievements of their peers.

It is essential that young people feel safe and confident in school and in their communities and it is important that they are provided the right guidance and support. If you or someone you know is being bullied, it is important to tell someone about it. We recommend that you contact the school and speak to a teacher or an adult you trust.

If your child is being bullied​​

Your child may not tell you that they are being bullied, but may display symptoms such as:
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Decrease in Appetite
  • Not wanting to go to school

Try talking to your child if they are behaving like this or are out of character and you suspect they are being bullied. Try talking to them about their progress, friends, lunchtime and breaks at school, and any problems or difficulties they are facing.
It can be very upsetting to find out that your child is being bullied but try to talk calmy to them about what they are going through.

Make a note of any details they provide such as – who was involved, where, when and how often it happens?

Provide your child reassurance that they are doing the right thing by telling you, as it may be hard for them to open up about it. 

Tell them to report any further incidents to a teacher straightaway and talk to your child’s teacher about the bullying. 

Talking to the Teacher/School

Schools legally must have an anti-bullying policy, which is used to prevent and reduce bullying in school. All schools publish their anti-bullying policies on their school websites, or they can be requested from the school. Find out what the school’s anti-​bullying policy is so you know what to expect from them.

The school may not be aware that your child is being bullied. 

Stay calm and provide specific details of what your child says has happened – give names, dates, and places.

Make a note of what action the school will take and who you have spoken to. And ask if there is anything you can do to help. 

Keep in touch with the schools and update them if the problem continues or if the situation improves. 

If you have approached the school and the bullying doesn’t stop, or you are not happy with the way the school is dealing with it, there are also several organisations that offer advice and information to help tackle bullying:

Hate Crime and Hate Incidents​

A hate crime is defined as any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.

A hate incident is any incident which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be prejudiced towards an individual, due to one or more of their protected characteristics.

If a hate crime or hate incident has happened, it is important that is reported to the police. 

Reporting can be done directly to the police or via Victim Support. Hate crimes and incidents can be reported in the following ways: 


Harassment is unwanted attention, which is offensive or makes a person feel intimidated or humiliated. This can include spoken or written words or abuse. 

Unwanted attention can include:
  • spoken or written words 
  • offensive emails 
  • tweets or comments on websites and social media 
  • images and graffiti
  • physical gestures
  • facial expressions 
  • banter that is offensive to you

Harassment can have a direct impact upon a young person’s mental and physical wellbeing and can have a detrimental impact on their ability to fulfil their potential.

Sexual Harassment​

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Peer-on-peer sexual harassment is defined as: Persistent unwanted conduct of a sexual nature by a child towards another child that can occur online and offline. Sexual harassment is likely to: violate a child’s dignity, and/or make them feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated and/or create a hostile, offensive or sexualised environment. (Department for Education,2021).

In their work with pupils (Experiences of peer-on-peer sexual harassment among secondary school pupils in Wales December 2021), Estyn defined peer-on-peer sexual harassment as: 
  • Making sexual comments, remarks, jokes either face-to face or online 
  • Lifting skirts or taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing 
  • making nasty comments about someone’s body, gender, sexuality or looks to cause them humiliation, distress or alarm
  • Image-based abuse, such as sharing a nude/semi-nude photo or video without the consent of the person pictured 
  • Sending unwanted sexual, explicit, or pornographic photographs/videos to someone

Sexual behaviours expressed by children and young people under the age of 18 years old that are developmentally inappropriate, may be harmful towards self or others, or abusive towards another child, young person or adult.”

Information and resources on sexual harassment in education​​

Estyn’s report: “We don’t tell our teachers” Experience of peer-on-peer sexual harassment among secondary school pupils in Wales:

Rights, Respect and Equality Guidance for Schools​

Cardiff Council has produced a statutory Rights, Respect and Equality guidance document (810kbs PDF)​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window to provide advice to enable the values of respect, tolerance, and kindness to be embedded in our schools and across the wider community. It is only by working together that we can achieve this and truly make a difference. 

​​​The information in these documents has been designed for print. This format may not be fully accessible online.​

​Welsh Government Support and Guidance​​

The Welsh Government provides a range of guidance and services for:

Parents and Carers

Children and Young People


© 2022 Cardiff Council