24-hour help

Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.

Bullying Helpline: 1-888-456-2323 to get help anonymously in more than 170 languages or find other supports.

Bullying Helpline Chat: to get help anonymously from noon to 8 pm, 7 days a week.

Bullying is repeated mean, cruel, hurtful behaviours done on purpose by someone with more power. It can be verbal, physical, social and online. Recognize the warning signs.

What you can do

If you are being bullied, there are 4 ways you can take action:

  1. Tell someone you trust
    • There are people who can help. You do not have to deal with this alone.
    • Talk to someone you trust, such as the Bullying Helpline or a trusted friend, teacher, coach, co-worker or human resource person.
    • You may need to contact the police if the bullying is severe and includes threats or physical violence.
  2. Stay safe
    • Do not fight back – it can make the problem worse.
    • Be assertive and stand up for yourself by telling the person to stop.
    • Try to remain calm and leave the area.
  3. Find support in your community
    • Contact the Bullying Helpline to find supports.
    • Spend time with friends, family or colleagues who support you.
  4. Know your rights
    • You have the right to feel safe. Schools, workplaces and other organizations have a legal responsibility to protect you from bullying.
    • Check the bullying prevention policies and codes of conduct for your school, workplace, sports team and other community organizations.
    • Learn about the laws to protect you from bullying.

Stay safe online

Follow these tips to protect yourself from cyberbullying:

  • Report bullying and abusive behaviours to the place where it is happening (like Instagram or Facebook) and tell someone you trust.
  • Save texts, voicemails, emails and screenshots to prove what happened.
  • Do not share your passwords with anyone and change them immediately if you suspect someone knows them.
  • Block the people who are bullying you.

The laws and your rights

Bullying is a human rights issue. You have the right to feel safe no matter where you are. This includes your home, work, school, community and online. There are federal and provincial laws to protect you from being bullied or harassed.

Alberta’s laws

An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances (formerly Bill 24) (PDF, 522 KB) came into effect December 15, 2017. It strengthens the School Act by:

  • requiring schools to create welcoming, caring and respectful policies and make them publicly available
  • ensuring principals help students create a student organization called a gay-straight or queer-straight alliance (GSA/QSA) within the school
  • clarifying that parents are not required to be notified about GSAs and QSAs
  • ensuring every school authority complies with the law

The Alberta Human Rights Act makes it illegal for employers, service providers, landlords, unions, and employment and occupational organizations to discriminate against someone through words or actions based on:

  • race
  • religious belief
  • colour
  • gender, gender identity or gender expression
  • physical disability
  • mental disability
  • ancestry
  • age (persons under the age of 18 can make complaints on all grounds except on the ground of age)
  • place of origin
  • marital status
  • source of income
  • family status
  • sexual orientation

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act was changed to better protect workers and ensure they have the same rights as other Canadians. With this change:

  • harassment and violence in all forms, including domestic and sexual violence, are defined as workplace hazards
  • employers must develop workplace harassment and violence prevention plans and address incidents when they do occur

Protecting Victims of Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images Act prohibits anyone from sharing an intimate image of another person without their consent.

Canada’s laws

Criminal Code of Canada and the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act make it illegal for someone to:

  • distribute intimate images of someone without their consent
  • use hate speech such as racial and homophobic slurs to routinely bully and harass someone to cause fear and distress
  • threaten someone with harm or violence

The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act also:

  • empowers courts to order intimate images be removed from the Internet
  • permits courts to order computers, cell phones or other devices that were used in an offence to be handed over to the police
  • provides for victims to be reimbursed for costs to remove the intimate image from the Internet or elsewhere
  • empowers courts to make an Order to prevent someone from distributing intimate images

The Canadian Human Rights Act makes it illegal for federally regulated employers and service providers to discriminate against people, or treat them unfairly, based on these grounds:

  • race
  • national or ethnic origin
  • colour
  • religion
  • age
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • marital status
  • family status
  • disability
  • a conviction that you have been pardoned for