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If you see someone being bullied…

Two girls comforting another girl who is crying.

Although you may not be directly involved in the bullying, there may be times when you see others being bullied. And even though it may be easier to stand by and watch or ignore the bullying, try to keep in mind, we all need a little help from time to time. Think about how you might feel if the bullying was happening to you. Here’s how you can make a difference:

  • Stand up for the victim. It takes a lot of courage, but try defending the person being bullied. This can shock and embarrass the bully so much that they leave their victim alone.
  • Don’t join in on bullying. If you see someone being bullied, don’t join in. If the bully tries to get you to help, refuse and walk away.
  • Stop the rumors. Don’t help spread rumors about another person. You wouldn’t want rumors spread about you, so don’t do it to someone else! If someone gossips to you, let it end with you – don’t pass it on to others. You can even tell that person you’re not interested.
  • Tell an adult. Don’t just stand there and watch, especially if someone is being hurt physically. Tell an adult about the bully and what’s going on. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe telling an adult, ask the adult to keep your comments private.
  • Offer help. When the bully is gone, try and help the person who was bullied and make sure he or she is okay. Encourage her to talk to an adult and stick up for herself.

When you help someone who’s being bullied, you are not just helping someone else, you’re also helping yourself. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in and help others when you can.

 

Content last reviewed September 22, 2009
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.

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