Bullying and Youth Violence

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is a form of violence in which one person repeatedly targets another who is weaker, smaller, or more vulnerable. It is repeated behavior intended to harm or disturb the target. An imbalance of power exists in all bullying situations. Bullying can be physical, verbal, and/or psychological. Verbal bullying includes taunting, name-calling, making threats, and belittling the target. Physical bullying can include hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, biting, and taking personal belongings. Psychological bullying consists of spreading rumors, social exclusion, intimidation, extortion, and sexual harassment.

more »

Resource Organizations » Bullying and Youth Violence

15 listing(s), including 4 with hotlines and 1 offering support groups

In Boston

Organizations with hotlines

Children’s League of Massachusetts

11 Beacon Street, Suite 820
Boston, MA  02108
(617) 695-1991
The Children's League of Massachusetts is a statewide non-profit association of over 80 private and public organizations and individuals that collectively advocate for public policies and quality services that are in the best interest of the Commonwealth's children, youth and families. It is through public education and advocacy that the Children's League promotes the availability, accessibility, and quality of these needed services.

Organizations without hotlines

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF)

1483 Tremont Street
Roxbury, MA  02120
The BCYF supports children, youth and families through a wide range of programs and services. The BCYF Streetworker Program has been hailed as one of the most effective youth prevention and early intervention services provided to Boston's youth. The goal of the program is to connect "hard-to-reach" youth to needed services and resources through direct, targeted street outreach.

Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

PO Box 302103
Jamaica Plain, MA  02130
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is a national organization making schools safer for ALL students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
GLSEN strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students, and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike.
We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities, and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community.

Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance

1 Ashburton Place, Suite 1101
Boston, MA  02108
The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) was established in 1984 with the enactment of the Commonwealth's first Victim Bill of Rights. Its purpose is to advocate for and assist victims of crime. MOVA's activities are governed by the Victim and Witness Assistance Board, chaired by the Attorney General. MOVA works with crime victims and the agencies that serve them, through: Victim Services Programs, Funding & Grant Opportunities, Legislative and Policy Work and Training & Outreach. MOVA's website includes lists of resources statewide applicable to various crimes, including how to seek support for those affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings.

Teens Against Gang Violence

2 Moody Street
Dorchester, MA  02124
Office: 617-282-9659
The Teens Against Gang Violence program (TAGV) is a volunteer, youth led community-based program located in Dorchester, Massachusetts. It provides violence prevention, education, and intervention services to youth service providers, youth, and family. The program is comprised of youth, ages 8 to 20+, and their families from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, who primarily reside in the urban neighborhoods of the city of Boston. The majority of the youth live in single parent households and are subject to the pressures of urban environments such as gang violence, racism, drugs, guns, crime, and poor economic conditions. Children Against Gang Violence (CAGV), the siblings of TAGV, aged 8-12, and Parents Against Gang Violence (PAGV), the parents of TAGV and CAGV were established in 1994 as a means of providing support for the whole family. All three groups receive training as trainers and educators.

In Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Department of Children and Families

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is the Massachusetts state agency responsible for protecting children from child abuse and neglect. To report abuse or neglect, call the Child-at-Risk Hotline anytime of the day or night at 800-792-5200. DCF relies on reports from professionals and other concerned individuals to learn about children who may need protection. DCF receives reports on more than 100,000 children each year. Certain professionals are mandated to report child abuse and neglect; however, anyone can report child abuse and neglect.

REACH Beyond Domestic Violence

Offers support group(s)
P.O. Box 540024
Waltham, MA  02454
Hotline: 800-899-4000
Main Phone: 781-891-0724
Fax: 781-891-3861
REACH is committed to advancing the safety, healing, and empowerment of those who experience domestic or relationship violence, through direct services and education while promoting social justice for individuals and families of all backgrounds. Teens P.A.V.E. the Way is a statewide summit to train teens as peer educators, helping to break the cycle of relationship abuse.

Steps to Respect

Excerpt from the Steps to Respect Training Manual: What Families Should Know about Bullying.
Full Steps to Respect site at:

Organizations without hotlines

Adults and Children Together Against Violence (ACT)

Nearly a half century of research has shown that violence is a learned behavior, often learned when a child is very young. But the skills of violence prevention can also be learned at a young age. ACT emphasizes that the early years are critical for learning and that the adults in children's lives can be the primary teachers of violence prevention. The ACT program mission is to educate communities and adults to create safe, healthy environments that protects children and youth from violence. It accomplishes its mission by disseminating research-based information and skills to adults in simple, accessible, user-friendly messages and materials.

Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC)

Bridgewater State University
Hart Hall
Bridgewater, MA  02325
The Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center is housed at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. MARC was founded and is directed by Dr. Elizabeth Englander, a professor of Psychology at the University, and an expert in the field of bullying prevention. Its goal is to bring low- or no-cost services to K-12 education, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the area of bullying prevention, cyberbullying education and prevention, and violence prevention. The MARC website includes guides for parents and professionals.

Stay Safe Online - National Cyber Security Alliance

Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the National Cyber Security Alliance seeks to create a culture of cyber security and safety awareness by providing knowledge and tools to prevent cyber crime and attacks.

Stop Handgun Violence

1 Bridge Street
Suite 300
Newton, MA  02458
Stop Handgun Violence is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1995 by a group of businesspeople moved by the increasing number of gun deaths and injuries in America. SHV works effectively to prevent firearm violence through public awareness and sensible legislation - without banning guns.
Public Education:
Since 1995, Stop Handgun Violence has increased public awareness about the epidemic of gun violence. SHV developed several effective media and public education campaigns, the centerpiece of which is America's largest billboard. SHV's message appears on 1,000 billboards around the country. In addition, SHV distributed over 30,000 trigger locks to gun owners across the country, and works to establish gun violence prevention curriculums in schools across the state.

Outside Massachusetts

Cyberbully 411

Cyberbully411, created by Internet Solutions for Kids, is an effort to provide resources for youth who have questions about or have been targeted by online harassment. The site offers information to youth on cyberbullying and its consequences, as well as guidance on what to do and how to talk to parents in a cyberbullying situation. There is also an online discussion forum.

Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA  30341
Violence is a serious public health problem in the United States. From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life. In 2005, more than 18,000 people were victims of homicide and more than 32,000 took their own life. The number of violent deaths tells only part of the story. Many more survive violence and are left with permanent physical and emotional scars. Violence also erodes communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services. This CDC website includes information on a variety of topics related to violence prevention, including youth violence, relationship violence, and suicide.

Wired Safety

Wired Safety is dedicated to helping protect children in cyberspace. It does this by a combination of educational programs, online information and resources, and one-to-one help. Help is provided through live chat, instant-messaging, peer counseling of victims of cybercrime and abuse, and e-mail reportlines. There is also a partner website, www.stopcyberbullying.org, which offers specific information about cyberbullying for children, parents, educators, and law enforcement.

back to top »

Additional Sources of Information



Disclaimer: Material on the MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.