What are the top 10 ways that you can stand up to bullying?

Topics: Violence, Bullying and Abuse Prevention, Youth
October 23, 2012

What are the top 10 ways that you can stand up to bullying?

Did you know that one in five Canadian youth report being bullied regularly?

From name-calling to cyberbullying, the harmful effects of violence and abuse can linger for years to come and leave people feeling scared, vulnerable and unsure of themselves. But by taking a stand against bullying - in your school, online and in the community - you can help put a stop to and prevent this hurtful behavior.

As a leader in violence and abuse prevention education programs throughout the country, the Canadian Red Cross offers a range of programs that can help you or someone you care for gain the skills needed to effectively react and respond to bullying situations. Unsure of what to do if you witness bullying? Consider these 10 tips.

1. Speak out. Bullying is a serious issue that can make a person feel isolated, but by speaking out against those who bully others, you have the power to stop it.

2. Refuse to go along with it. Youth who bully others often crave attention and an audience for their bad deeds. Those who laugh or cheer on people who bully are sending the message that they approve of their actions, but if you stand up for the person being targeted, you can show that you're against the abusive behaviour.

3. Write down what happened. Incidents can happen quickly, making it difficult to remember everything that occurred. But by writing down all that you witnessed, you can paint a clearer image later on to those you speak to about it.

4. Get help from your friends. People who bully others may get support from a large group, but if you seek the assistance of your friends, you can get the support you need to speak out against bullying and harassment.

5. Be kind online. Young people are often targeted by people who bully online, but you can refuse to go along with this behavior by avoiding websites that may feature negative information about other students. By refusing to forward e-mails about other young people, being kind online and blocking someone who spreads rumors about others, you can send a strong anti-bullying message.

6. Protect your personal information. You should never give out your passwords, even to close friends, and you should avoid posting personal information online, as it could wind up in the wrong hands. If someone sends you abusive messages, you should always save these exchanges.

7. Seek out counseling. Don't keep your problems hidden. If you're feeling troubled as a bystander of bullying, or you're being targeted by people who bully, you should consider speaking to a counsellor about your problems.

8. Talk to a trusted adult. Whether it's a teacher, parent, relative or coach, if you witness bullying, you should reach out to an adult that you respect and trust. He or she can help you figure out the best approach to take and can try to put a stop to the behaviour.

9. Report the incident. In addition to talking to an adult you trust, you can report incidents to a principal or someone in authority. Making a formal complaint can be a good way to let an organization know about the problem and prevent future bullying.

10. Take action. Talk to your school or community about the possibility of forming a bullying prevention committee with teachers, parents and young people. You can also create a forum online to mobilize young people to speak out about acts of bullying and what can be done to stop them.

With help from young, dynamic Canadians, the Canadian Red Cross strives to prevent bullying. Beyond the Hurt Youth Facilitator Training is one way that young people can make a substantial difference in the lives of those in need while also gaining new friendships and experience assisting others.

To learn more about how you or the young person in your life can get involved with this remarkable program as a volunteer, please visit online or contact your local Red Cross office today!

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