When someone you know is being bullied it can be upsetting. If you see or know of others being bullied you may feel angry, fearful, guilty, and sad. You may also feel worried that the bullying could happen to you.
You can take action to stop bullying happening. It is important to do something because ignoring it gives ‘silent approval’.
When other people intervene the bullying is more likely to stop.
There are things you can do. But don’t put your own safety at risk, and step in only if you feel safe to do so.
In this factsheet you will find out:
In any bullying situation there are usually bystanders; other people who watch or are nearby at the time the bullying takes place. You can be a bystander in person or online.
You may have been a bystander if you have:
If bystanders are confident to take safe and effective action there is a greater possibility that the bullying will stop. A supportive bystander will use words and/or actions that can help someone who is being bullied.
Watch I’ve seen someone bullied (video) to see how other people who saw bullying happening felt and how they changed things.
Watch Dr Michael Carr-Gregg (Psychologist) talk about what you can do if you see bullying happening.
You have a few ways to be a supportive bystander, depending on the situation and how safe you feel to intervene. No one expects you to put yourself in danger.
A group of students standing up to bullying together helps everyone to stay safe.
You could say something like:
You could say:
If it is safe, get together with other bystanders to let the person doing the bullying know that what they are doing is not okay.
It is okay to tell. It is not dobbing to get help for someone who is being hurt.
If you are worried about what other people will say to you, tell someone else privately.
Even if the bullying happens outside of school, report it to someone in authority or someone you trust such as:
Your parents or other family members may be able to help you work out who else to tell.
To help the person being bullied, you could:
You could show them What to do if you are being bullied (PDF, 180KB) (RTF, 55KB) for bullying in person, or Cybersafety for students (PDF, 63KB) (RTF, 66KB) for bullying online.
Don’t behave in ways that make the problem worse such as:
This factsheet is made is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY NC) license.
Also check the related topics:Bullying