Bullies can be scary and sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when you see someone getting bullied. Most of the time bullying takes place when there are others present. People who witness bullying or are aware that bullying is happening are called bystanders.
Bystanders can play a number of roles. A bystander who is passive (takes no action) or behaves in ways that give silent approval (watching, nodding, walking away) encourage the behaviour to continue. But did you know, as a bystander, you can also be the person who stops the bullying. When bystanders defend or support a student who is being bullied, often the bullying stops quickly.
The actions of a supportive bystander can stop an incident or help a student to recover from it.
It's easier than you might think to be a supportive bystander, ReachOut have these top tips:
• Avoid getting involved and make it clear that you won’t be part of bullying behaviour (tell your friend that this is not ok!)
• Help the person who is being bullied to find help or get somewhere safe
• Don’t respond or forward messages or photos that could hurt someone intentionally
• Report to someone you trust (teacher or school counsellor) - you can even report Cyber Bullying happening on Facebook through Facebook
For more information on being a supportive bystander, cyber bullying, besting the bully or even finding out if you are a bully, check out ReachOut.com