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Helping a Friend

Why do people bully?

Often people bully others because they actually don’t feel that good about themselves. They might have low self-esteem, they might have been bullied themselves, or they might have some serious stuff going on at home. They might bully to make themselves feel more powerful and in control.

What can I do to help?

A bystander is someone who has seen, or knows about, someone being bullied. If you witness someone being bullied you might feel uncomfortable and unsure what to do about it. You might be scared to say or do something, or just feel confused about the situation. As a bystander you have many options to help make the situation better.

Here are some things you can do if you witness bullying:
  • Tell the bully that their behaviour is not ok.
  • Don’t stand by and watch or laugh when someone is being bullied.
  • Tell others it’s not ok to laugh or watch either.
  • Don’t spread rumours or forward on nasty messages online.
  • Support the person who is being bullied- ask them if they are ok and how you can help.
  • Tell someone in charge what is going on- like your teacher, school counsellor, principal or your boss.
  • Report online harassment on social media sites- sites like facebook and Twitter have buttons to report abuse.

For more info on how to be an active and supportive bystander check out Reachout. If you aren’t sure what to do you can call Kids Helpline to help you figure out what to do. Talk to someone you trust about it, like a parent, friend or teacher, they might be able to give you some good advice. You might feel sad or upset about what you have seen, so make sure you take some time out to relax. Talking about it might make you feel heaps better too.