Racial bullying

Being bullied because of your race is wrong and illegal. It can be difficult to cope with, but you can get help.

Be proud of who you are

Feeling left out or thinking you’re different from others can be hard, but it’s important to remember that it makes you who you are.

Being bullied because of the way you look, your race, culture or nationality can be tough. It might make you feel like you should change the way you look, speak or act. You might also feel embarrassed about your background or things people say about you. You shouldn’t have to change anything about yourself.

Some people might judge you or bully you, but there are also open-minded people who will want to know the real you.

You could:

  • try to make friends with different people or find hobbies to meet others who share your interests
  • check out our message boards to find people in similar situations
  • find one thing you like about yourself each day – this could be your smile, your eyebrows, your sense of humour or your love of Doctor Who!

Try to make a list of the things you like about your country or culture. This could be food, weather, traditional clothing, music, famous people, songs or other stuff that makes where you come from unique. You could try sharing this with someone you trust or sharing on our message boards. This can also be a way for you to ask others about their culture and make you feel more confident about who you are.

4 things to try:

  1. Accept that it's not your fault
    Remember you're not the one to have caused the problem
  2. Tell someone what's happening
    This could be a teacher or another adult you trust
  3. Keep evidence
    This could be a diary of events, saved messages and a record of when things happen. This can be useful to show others that you need help
  4. Keep yourself safe
    You could walk home with someone you trust, change privacy settings online and block users who bully you. Get tips for staying safe online.
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We're here for you

Childline is always here for you and you can talk about anything. Our trained counsellors come from many different countries like France, Romania, India, Spain, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, USA, UK, Australia, Turkey, and many more. They are here to listen to you and to support you. 

Worried about racism?

Racism is when someone is treated differently or unfairly just because of their race or culture. People can also experience prejudice because of their religion or nationality. You can talk to us or check out our message boards to get support from other people with similar experiences.

Get more advice about racism.

One girl used to make my life miserable and make racist remarks

Ornella - a young person

Read her story about moving to England and coping with racism

What if I tell someone and they don't help?

If someone is calling you names, making you feel scared or treating you unfairly, you can get help to make this stop.

It's a good idea to keep a diary of when the bullying happens and how it makes you feel. This can help when you tell an adult. 

It can take time for bullying to stop. And you may have to tell a teacher more than once. If you feel like a teacher doesn't want to help, you can speak to the head teacher. Each school should have an anti-bullying policy which is there to protect you. You have the right to ask about this and make sure you get support. If your school doesn’t help, you can tell the police. The police have to protect all young people and take racist bullying seriously.

You might be told to just put up with things or forget it because it will eventually stop but this can be hard and the bullying could get worse.

You don’t have to deal with racial bullying. Whatever you’re going through, Childline is here for you. Find out how you can talk to a counsellor.

What if it's a joke?

Even if it’s not meant to be offensive, a racist joke can be hurtful to someone and their culture. A racist joke is still racist. Going along with it gives people the impression that racism is okay.

Sometimes, people make impressions of people from other cultures or tell jokes about different races. If people around you are doing this, it’s important to think about whether you want to be a part of it.

Even if someone doesn’t show that they’re upset at the time, making racist jokes towards them could still be having a negative impact. Imagine if you heard jokes about your race, culture or background all the time. Making racist jokes is a form of abuse. Find out more about racism.