Body language: Bullies pick on easy targets, so poor posture and averted eye contact will attract unwanted attention. Stand proud with your shoulders back and your head up, and look people in the eye - you'll soon give out the message that you're not afraid. Safety in numbers: This is particularly important when bullying is taking place outside of a regular establishment. Work out your safest and most public routes home and try to stick with others at all times. Walk away: If you find yourself in a situation that is making you feel uncomfortable, calmly but quickly walk away. If you are near other people or a public place, head in that direction. Speak up: This is exactly the thing that bullies expect you not to do, so you are already regaining some control by speaking up. If the bullying is taking place in an established setting like a workplace or university, approach a colleague or tutor you are comfortable with - or try a student counsellor, an NUS rep, or the human resources department - all of whom have a duty to take these issues seriously and offer their help and support. It can be difficult to know who to turn to when bullying is happening outside the boundaries of regular establishments. Telling friends and family may help you feel more protected, but if they feel unable to solve the problem, contact the police. Explore your feelings: If there is no one you can tell, or you just don't feel ready to open up face-to-face, consider talking anonymously to an organisation such as Bullying Online. You can send an email ([url=mailto:email@example.com]mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org[/url]) at any time of day, offering you the support you need without having to pluck up the courage to speak in person. You may find that keeping a diary of your thoughts and feelings also helps you to start facing the issue.
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