Don't be a bystander when it comes to bullying. Be an Upstander!
StopBullying.gov has new resources to help you safely upstand to bullying. For example, our new Bystander Fact Sheet details the different roles bystanders play in stopping or enabling the bullying behavior. We have also released the new Become an Upstander to Bullying video online to view and share – they are available on the StopBullying.gov YouTube channel in English and Spanish.
When bullying occurs, there are often bystanders present. A bystander is anyone who witnesses bullying, either in person or online. Peers, teachers, school staff, parents, coaches, and other youth-serving adults can be bystanders. Bystanders can choose to become an Upstander and make a positive difference in a bullying situation. Choosing to become an upstander can help to stop the bullying, can help to support the person being bullied and can also limit the traumatic effect that witnessing bullying can have.
Youth who are bullied often feel alone and ashamed especially when there are others around who witness the event. Existen muchos motivos por los que el espectador puede optar por no intervenir, incluso aunque crea que el acoso está mal. Es posible que teman una represalia o volverse ellos mismos víctimas del acoso. Quizás teman que, al involucrarse, sufrirán consecuencias negativas en sus relaciones sociales. But one person’s support can make a world of difference for someone who is being bullied. Research shows that bullied youth who are defended and supported by their peers are less anxious and depressed than those who are not.
According to A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Bullying Prevention Programs’ Effects on Bystander Intervention Behavior, when bystanders defend the target of bullying and intervene, the bullying stops within 10 seconds more than half the time!
There are many things that witnesses to bullying can do to become upstanders:
- Cuestionar la conducta de acoso Algo simple como cambiar de tema o cuestionar la conducta puede cambiar el foco de atención.
- Usar el humor para decir algo divertido y redirigir la conversación.
- ¡La cantidad también da fuerza! Los espectadores pueden intervenir en grupo para demostrar que hay varias personas que no aceptan el acoso.
- Acompañar a la víctima de acoso para ayudar a desalentar posibles intentos de acoso.
- Reach out to check in with the person who was bullied to let them know you do not agree with it and that you care. Marca la diferencia.
- Watch CDC’s Be Someone’s Hero video for an example of how to be an upstander (also available in Spanish).