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Being Bullied by a Neighbour? What You Can Do

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 16 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
Bully Bullies Neighbour Harassment

If you, or anyone in your household, feel as though you’re being bullied in your neighbourhood or even your own home, it can potentially make your life unbearable. You have the right to feel safe in your own neighbourhood and protected from harassment, so don’t let a bully take that away from you or your loved ones.

Children Being Bullied

Bullying is a common problem, especially with children. In some cases, a bullying incident may be a one-off, a trivial falling out between children, and isn’t necessarily anything to worry about.

Listen to what your child is saying about the bullies and keep an eye on the situation. It may all blow over.In the meantime, arm your children with strategies to deal with the actions the bullies are taking, such as trying to ignore minor things, asking the bully to stop, and telling an adult.

If a child is being picked on frequently, you could try walking with them to school, supervising play areas or speaking to the parents of the bully or bullies and trying to resolve the issues amicably.

In very serious cases, or examples where there have been actual physical violence, it might be possible as a last resort to take out a restraining order, making the parents and the bullies stay away from your child. If the situation has become that serious or dangerous, it’s advisable to involve the police, get some information on your legal options, and consult a lawyer. Thankfully, it’s rare for childhood bullying to need that sort of intervention.

What’s Considered Bullying?

Bullying and harassment, especially when adults are involved, can be subtle, hard to pinpoint and consist of many separate incidents which can turn into persistent bullying when they are carried out repeatedly or over a long period of time. It is important to know how you are protected under the Protection From Harassment Act.

If you’re being subjected to any form of unwanted behaviour from a neighbour, it can be described as bullying. It could take the form of constant harassment, physical or verbal abuse. Name calling or teasing constantly can be bullying if they upset you or cause you any distress. Some bullies may choose to simply 'blank' you or spread rumours about you. Serious cases may even involve threatening or anti-social behaviour.

In some cases, neighbourhood bullies can be so subtle and their actions can become so regular that their behaviour can be overlooked. That doesn’t make it right. Long term, bullying can cause mental and physical health problems, and affect your well-being.

What to Do if You’re Being Bullied

The very nature of adult bullies make them hard to reason with. You can try avoiding the culprit and hoping they get bored with annoying you, if the bullying is mild.

Kill them with kindness. If the bully sees you as a threat, try befriending them, even if you don’t want to. If you turn the tables and act as if you’re willing to be friendly, you could get a positive response. Try a friendly 'hello' or offer to help them with something. This might not work, but is worth trying as a first course of action.

Try being assertive, too. Use assertive body language, stand straight, don’t avoid eye contact, and confront them with statements like, "I've noticed that you seem to be trying to bully me and I would like you to stop."

If all else fails, or the bullying becomes serious or physical, involve the authorities.

If there’s a discrimination element (you’re being bullied because of your race, gender, disability, sexuality or religion), contact your local authority who may be able to take action. Some local authorities have Safer Neighbourhood Teams who work with communities to identify and address local concerns.

In some cases, a local authority can apply for a court order against the perpetrator, banning them from carrying out anti-social behaviour, nuisance or threats against you or your household, and even evict them if they carry on.

You may be able to take out a civil injunction against the bully. Take advice from a solicitor about your options and what you need to do if that’s the case. Find out more about the Proection from Harassment Act here.

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Myneighbour is constantly reporting us to the housing association. She lies to them but as she is private we don't have a leg to stand on. She throws abuse out when we are in our garden. Intimidates us allthe time and spreads lies. Am now at my wits end and want to move. She has driven a young girl out of her flat. Don't know where to turn. Am keeping a log but it's affecting our health now
San - 15-Aug-19 @ 11:44 PM
Hi, I am a 45 year old widow who lives alone with my 9 year old son. 3 family of my neighbours are bullying, harassing, intimidating and spying around my house for years. The Manchester Police and Trafford Council are not believing in my complaints ; as aresult, my 9 year old child is constantly living in a nightmare because of their harassments and bullying around our house! I feel like as Police and Council are encouraging them to continue their arrogant & bullying behaviourism towards me & my Son by doing nothing!! They are gang up against me and my son for bullying constantly. I feel like these neighbours are finding small things to bully me & my son horribly . They are obviously lying constantly to the Police & to the Council and I am always failing to make Police & Council to understand me with my poor speech of English . I am now, really concerned about my Son’s well being because he is quite emotionally abused from these neighbours! He is actually frightened to go out alone from the house and frightened even to see them ! But I don’t know how to help him ..
Amran - 12-Aug-19 @ 2:23 PM
Myco tenant in 2f is putting out rat poison for my dogs and following my elderly mother with camera phone he is so crazy he called the police on us for some trouble with his door we never did anything but he is escalating to a alarming rate
hope - 10-Aug-19 @ 8:58 PM
I've had problems with my neighbours son. He stands very close to my home, staring menancingly and speaking loudly. He is a bully and much like all bullies is a weak man bullying to convince himself, he is strong. I'm currently too distressed to type all the details. Just wanted to send some love to anyone suffering the ill effects of bullying. Bullies really are pathetic people and they target others due to their weaknesses, not yours. They select people who they, on some level, recognise as being stronger than themselves. If you're being bullied, you probably have an abundance of good qualities that the bully resents. Stay strong. I've found the following helpful - 1. Yoga is amazing and no, you don't need to be flexible or superfit. I practice with Yoga with Adriene (free-You Tube. She is a beautiful person and during difficult times, it always helps to remember, the world is filled with good people, there's more of us than them. 2. Self care - a treat, whatever you enjoy most, bubble bath, face mask, whatever, you deserve it. It's a good distraction. Love yourself. 3. Forcing yourself to read 100 pages of any book. This can help with spinning thoughts. Our minds become flooded when stressed then it becomes impossible to concentrate. Reading for even just six minutes reduces stress by 70% (I read that online, so it must be true). If not up to reading, then, looking out of a window as far as you can see resets the brain. There's so many other ways of distracting yourself and making sure you're okay. Be kind to yourself and smile even when you don't feel like it. I hope, with all my heart, that your troubles are short.
Kelsey - 31-Jul-19 @ 6:59 PM
I've been putting up with relentless verbal abuse from the people in the flat downstairs. It's like they have been in my attic numerous times don't know how they are getting in but I'm partly disabled from a deliberate incident two years ago when I was run over on the path and nearly died. This has all happened since then . I believe they are watching me for someone as they are watching incase I go back to the police. I believe they have seeing and hearing devices in all rooms even my bathroom. It's degraded ing
Kel - 23-Jul-19 @ 1:22 AM
I have suffered from bullyingfor years from the couple who live next door and I live in fear of what they'll do next. I'm a single woman with 2 small dogs who are not noisy except when they bang the gate.I live in a Victorian terrace with a path along the back and paths to gardens, my one and the house next door share a long path to our back gardens , everyone else has their own path.They refuse to accept or believe that the path is shared between 2 houses and has been for years and years. They obstruct my gate so I can't open it , there's a pine shelf there now last year a heavy plastic wheelbarrow and bricks. They damage my plants and pots though not in the way , put my recycling bins outside my back door. I've been sworn at by them , woman is the worst, vile notes and letters, intimidation , harassment, stalking , keeping an eye on me,blocking path with lots of hose pipe , trip hazard . They put up a security camera and last summer they ambushed me when I was invited to go and see my neighbour's 3 doors along , I was pushed around just got in back door in time , woman shouting and screaming. The man a big bloke pushed my elderly neighbour to the ground twice when he escorted me back home. I rang the police and police came round . The nasty pair erected a chipboard fence barrier over 6' tall so no way along the back now.Found slugs & snails and blue bait on my path last week, I suffered PTSD after this ,terrified dogs will get poisoned . The police & council said its a civil matter ! A free 15 min solicitor appt confirmed that they have no right to do that to me , they say I'm trespassing , I'm not !I'm dreading the summer holidays , cos guess what they're both TEACHERS so lots of holiday time. I own my house so do they. I went to the council office and said the bullying still going on , I broke down and cried and told them that if I went missing or was found dead enough people would tell them I'd been bullied for years and nothing done. Always a big gasp when I say they are TEACHERS. Long to move. I don't go outside the back or back path at all when they're home. Last summer I went in back garden twice, once on the morning they broke up then in August when I saw they were away, the next time 3rd sept when they went back to school.Any ideas , I live in fear all the time . Thanks
Dogs mummy - 7-Jul-19 @ 9:58 AM
My neighbour bought the house next door and it's all open plan. When they bought a Karaoke machine my husband politely advised that we can here everything! Since then I have caught him watching me in our garden. Yes I lost it with him and took a picture! He know tries to intimidate me! My husband caught him watching me in the garden and confronted him to which he called ME RACIST! My husband went mad and informed him about his stepmom and half brother coming from Trinidad! Since then we have to keep all our blinds drawn on their side of the house (we are semi detached). If I'm out the front he's out the front if i'm in the back garden he's in the back garden!
Fed up - 29-Jun-19 @ 12:50 PM
we brought our house off my neighbours at full price subject to 2 conditions no building and that we could bring our equines and they could graze the field.They have subsequently illegally started building a house and when challenged have thrown our equines off the land, put up a disgusting fence of broken chairs / rotten chip board and rubbish.we have the house on the market right now - we will never sell with this going on and its making me ill.I also think that they have poisoned one of my animals
just want out - 20-Jun-19 @ 7:44 AM
My neighbour is throwing bread into my garden ..its been goin on for 3 years..in aug last year i put up cctv..l now have 6 videos of bread coming over my 6 ft fence..is this anti social...this man has been doin more than this
Lisa - 17-Jun-19 @ 4:47 PM
My neighbour is throwing bread over my 6 ft fence...has been doing it for 3 yrs..l put up cctv..last august..l have bread coming over the fence l have 6 videos of this is this antisocial
Lisa - 17-Jun-19 @ 4:44 PM
The Protection From Harassment Act means nothing in Wiltshire because Wiltshire Police are so crap they try and avoid the hate crime being reported, they stop victims reporting it and they allow it to continue pretending nothing is wrong then they lie when they get complained about. People suffer the crimes because the Police wont do their jobs properly. The law means F All !!
BILL WEBBER - 17-Jun-19 @ 3:06 AM
We are having the same problems my neighbours gather in front us talk about us. The children constantly throwing balls and pressing our doorbell I told him off because we are picking up balls all thd time. They let people block our driveway they sell drugs they bang at nights when we are asleep we are awaken by loud bangs and this could be 2 and 3 8n the morning. The son comes out and cussing at us after 2 in the morning they slam their doors and now I just started to bang and dlam the door let them see what it is like. I am totally fedup with these people they throw garbage in out yard and spit in our garden this is never ending
Iamtotallyfedup - 16-Jun-19 @ 1:43 PM
In Jan 2018 new people moved in--I thought a nice family. Until then, despite being 73, I have had a happy active life, I live alone with my rescue dog, for the past 40 years with no trouble. We are in a terrace. After March they started making complaints about really petty things. At first I thought they were making a fuss over nothing, as I live a very quiet life and am--or was--quite independent.I realised eventually they did not want to be friendly or pleasant even in the most casual way over the fence--one of their threats being to take it down and build a higher one, despite the present one--built by me--is high and safe for my dog. Whether due to this or not I fell ill with shingles and my dog went to stay with friends as I had become housebound. After I improved enough to get out driving and my dog came back and employed dog walkers to help, my balance being affected, I got a complaint via Environmental Health that my dog was barking day and night, which was absolutely untrue, and I was "playing loud music" again untrue at "inappropriate times". I became the target of verbal abuse, like "We cant wait to see you in your coffin" and acts of petty vandalism. I have the police up several times and someone from anti social behavior , they all get fobbed off by this couple putting on the charm and denying everything. Recently they sent one of their relatives--a big burly thug-- out into their back garden to shout at me and my dog and say he is vicious and wants putting down. And so on and so forth. Frankly it was "got me down" to such an extent that I feel almost unable to keep going.
wuffalot - 1-Jun-19 @ 11:03 AM
Sorry you all are dealing with it. There's an old woman up here who constantly instigated the homeless people to harass and damage people's property. She is hated by her own family. One day I got fed up and called the police. They arrested her. She loves drama and is bitter . There's ways to get them back. Record and call the law ! Have witnesses.
Brit Brat - 28-May-19 @ 3:25 AM
I moved from the city to a village in the E of England 3 years ago.I am in the minority as I happen to be the only black woman in the village. It is a small one of about 1500 people. I knew this before I moved as I looked at the population statistics but I wanted the quiet life. The house is a semi-detached house and at the end of the road, so my neighbours and I are linked by a wall and separated by a fence. It turned out that there were 9 people in the house. A couple with 6 adult/teenage children ranging now from the age of 14 to 27 years old. The eldest son, 27 year old man also had his girlfriend living there. I did ask my previous owner about the neighbours, but she omitted to tell me nor did she say anything on the property form. The bullying started a week after I moved in to my new house. It was constant slamming of the front door. Banging on the walls during the night especially when I am asleep. Gawking whenever I go out into the garden or out to the front of the property. My previous car tyre was punctured. Constant dirt being thrown over the fence on to the patio and the conservatory. Beer cans thrown onto the front lawn Name calling Loud music Dead birds thrown on the lawn and into the garden I work from home. I began getting serious headaches which would last for hours. I would wake up with my head pounding. I went through several emotions and wondered what I had done apart from moving in. After a few weeks, I summed up the courage to speak to the parents. I invited them round for tea to discuss the problem. It turns out that 5 of the children have a form of mental illness so they are all registered with a disability. He said that the eldest son (who is the only sane one and the main culprit) will soon be moving out and that the second son was using drugs. The third son suffers from insomnia and is probably the one banging during the night. Then you have the girls and the last boy who have this faulty gene found in their mother. The mother had a stroke some years ago and he has had to raise them by himself. (Can you see the picture that I am painting?) In the eyes of the law, thay are all vulnerable people in society! After a lengthy discussion, I implored him to get help as it is not healthy to keep the children hidden from society. The oldest one workspart time as he is a named carer, but the others don't except for the last two who go to school and were always in the house at other times.I advised that they need something to keep them busy. The father agreed to move the 3 boys away from the front room where the banging was taking place during the night. This was not done as I was subject to the same anti-social behaviour during the night. After speaking to some friends, they said, I should be nice to them. I have a plum and apple fruit tree. I gave them some. Called one of the boys to come and hand pick some which I thought would appease them. It didn't change a thing as I was sti
Sandy - 11-May-19 @ 12:50 PM
What useless information. Who wants to befriend a bully and help them!! This is awful advice. Shame on you.
A real person being - 1-May-19 @ 1:21 PM
I have neighbours from hell and I mean hell. It is a shared driveway and they refuse me to drive or even walk down it. So I have had to block my entrance to my back garden off plus they were entering my back garden and vandalising it. I now have to park on the road. They have now parked one of their 3 cars right outside my house so with me being on crutches I have to park halfway up the road and struggle with bags to my house and they stand either outside their house or watch through their window laughing. I have a disability and now they have parked one of their cars outside my house it is disgusting. They have a car parked on the driveway and one outside their house on the road and the other parked outside my house. What can I do. They are bloody evil. Have discriminated me with being on crutches and my disability and the police won't do anything. I live on my own so I have no witness but there is two of them and they collaborate with each other. If anyone can help me I would be so grateful. They would get away with murder.
Julie Callagan - 1-May-19 @ 7:32 AM
Hi I have the same problem as you all. I live in UK. I've moved to my house 10 years ago,all started when neighbours discovered that I'm Polish. They would gather up at the front of my house and talk about me and my familly.The thing is all what they doing is always so subtle that basically I cannot prove anything. Their kids where constantly on our fence making comments how we talk what we do etc. I've felt like kind of animal in zoo.As they grow up they've change their practice,started to shoot to my son out of the nerf guns,with a plastic balls. I've bought for my son a trampoline which he used maybe twice as it was impossible for him to stay on the garden.We finally stopped going outside at all. Makes me stopped talking English and Polish.The worst thing is I've started to belive there is something wrong with me,got myself a depression and anxiety. Cnstantly telling my family to be quiet.Really don't know what to do as I really like my house and surroundings. Because im minority in this case everyone is trying to tell me to move out,but why I've never done anything bad.Somethimes I'm thinking is it worth it?
BlueBea - 24-Apr-19 @ 12:01 PM
Local neighbours are heavily involved with smoking drugs and bully me because I don’t want to be friends with them as their drug usage is not tolerated by me with their behaviour that of stalking intimidation and harassment....the red headed witch will continue to speak to my friends telling them she knows all about me, like wow how boring for you to be that obsessed I care to only know I stop hearing you watching me and driving round and round like I didn’t see you the first time, also your family I want Nothing to do with so why they think I’m their business and are so obsessed with me I do not understand but wished you’d all drop dead since you can’t seem to understand I’m not moving because of your sick obsession with myself, my friends and my family! Sickos. As for me being in medication even if I were it’d be none of your business but your the one medicated as you can’t stand this life as if you could you’d stop with the constant drive by watching us as we sit out side following us from out back yard to our front yard and constantly being caught starring at us like a pack of weirdos you are!
I’m not a druggie li - 22-Apr-19 @ 8:23 AM
Had a new neighbour move in a year ago with her 2 year old son , it started with her bins as she wanted them out of her sight and outside my door, she knows I suffer with mental health and been telling everyone I’m a fruit loop and obsessed with her she intimidates me only when she’s drunk or high and with her friends other then that she hibernates in her flat all day curtains drawn and silence , she has shouted at me and made up stuff to council and neighbours saying I’m a grass etc , I feel suicidal at times and wanna move so much , going to doctors soon to explain it all and ask if he can’t support me with a letter to council I’m at breaking point
CJ - 11-Apr-19 @ 1:23 AM
I have an elderly neighbour who plays loud music outside his house, so Loud I can’t hear the TV and it prevents me from enjoying my garden. The council have seen him and blames me!!! This has been going on for three years! The council are spineless!! He now plays with his genitalia when my daughter is outside. The police say I can’t prove it
Kay - 10-Apr-19 @ 9:30 PM
If lived in my flat for 2yrs n iv had nothing but grief from my neighbours one off them has just verbally threatens me and told me to watch my back I suffer mental health problems and I'm finding all this too much I really wish I had the guts to talk to someone and get help to move away
Mazza - 7-Apr-19 @ 7:45 PM
I have to keep my cats locked away in shed as neighbours threatened to kill them as their were pooing on new decking / driveways - now they let their dogs poo on my driveway because they say my cats are pooing still but not understand that there are other cats living in the road
Baileys - 21-Mar-19 @ 10:05 PM
This is the final straw for me. I moved into a property 4 yrs ago. Within 6 months the harassment started. The house was plastered and new bathroom and kitchen. I also have a disability car outside. I started to find glass in the garden so the pets would get cut.poison in the grass and on plants. I am one of then people who would help anyone but with this happening no chance would i help them even when it hurts to say no. Finally have to move as the police do not lbelieve me. When i ring the police they send anambulance to shut me up. All this has caused me to be depresse. All of this is because i don't work and have a nice car. Sad eh
b - 21-Mar-19 @ 8:05 AM
I am desperate to move from my awful neighbours.They have made my life hell for years. Now this morning i discover two of my tyres have been slashed i know it is them but cannot prove it . I am scared now for my family's safety
Jazz - 7-Mar-19 @ 1:02 PM
I hAve been beaten harassed for the past 2yrs by immediate neighbours. My son's old dog was poisoned to death and I was beaten so badly several years ago I had to have surgery and will always have memory issues because of it. I was registered disabled due to attack. Attacked on my own home 3yrs ago. Finally police did something. Reason for harassment? I am mixed race and my female neighbours are darker toned. I was seen as not black enough. My son become a police officer at a young age because of it. I have learnt to hate. It is so sadifferent what people do to each other. The police said it was due to jealousy. I don't agree. I think it was due to unhappiness.
None - 4-Mar-19 @ 6:19 PM
My neighbour has been harassing me for years. Calling me a call c**t , f***ing W**ker ,and the like. She has no consideration whatsoever. Spread's nasty gossip about me in my road. She behaves atrousily , and expects me to behave considerately , weird.
Simon Mead - 28-Feb-19 @ 10:44 PM
I have a couple of married older neighbours, whom I feel have been harrassing for 3 years now. They stand outside all summer, everyday at the entrance of the building, and I have to pass by them to get in and out of my home. They talk to people about me, tell people if I'm in or out and even tell people at what times I usually leave the house. I find it very intrusive. My life should be none of their business. They have been making me feel I am always being watched. Sometimes if they see me out, they follow me around. It got to the point I even started to feel uncomfortable to go down to throw the rubbish or even leave the house. I know they are doing it intentionally to make me feel uncomfortable.
Maria - 21-Feb-19 @ 4:04 PM
some nearby newpeople have made official complaints about my dog barking day and night--untrue--andmy playing "pop music" at ???"inappropriate" times??? when I do not play pop music or hardly any music anytime, and other stuff, verbal abuse, parking etc. I am 73 years old, but the PTBEEhave simply sent me a list of these peoples "feelings and issues" , ignored my situation, and a list of preposterous conditions I have to abide by!!!!
wuffalot - 11-Feb-19 @ 8:57 AM
I did comebted not sure if it been sent i cant see ny comments
Doglady - 8-Feb-19 @ 9:42 AM
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