No one deserves to feel disrespected, mistreated, or afraid to walk down the hall at school, but everyone deserves to feel safe in school and on social media. Unfortunately, bullying is a trend that, for some, makes simple tasks like walking home or going to school more difficult than it really has to be. Not to mention that the consequences of bullying can be very detrimental to many victims. The truth is that bullying is real whether or not you’ve personally experienced it, and many victims of bullying experience depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment. In addition, bullying also has strong ties with suicide rates among young people in the United States. A study conducted by Yale University found
that bully victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to commit suicide, while another study in Great Britain found that half of suicides among young people are to be blamed on bullying.
Oftentimes, young people refuse to speak out about their experiences with bullying because of the fear of retaliation; however, not saying anything gives the bully the implication that what he/she is doing is right. Often, there are situations where other students witness bullying taking place and they have to choose whether to interfere or ignore the issue. Of course, in some cases there could be some risks with interfering, but we should never walk away from someone in need. So here are a few things you can do if
you witness another friend or student being bullied.
It should never be easy to sit back and watch another person get bullied. Too often we see videos on social media of bullies using their aggression and power to belittle and scare their victims. This is not okay, and
although it may feel like what’s happening to another person is not your business, you should take a moment and place yourself in the victim’s shoes. Would you be ok if someone seriously injured you while bystanders stood there videoing it? Would you want someone to stand up for you? How would it make you
feel if someone just walked past you while a bully punched or choked you for your lunch money? These are all things to remember when you cope with the complexity of standing up for someone else who’s being bullied. Studies have shown that more than half of bullying ends because a concerned bystander
Four Steps for Intervening
1. Remain calm
The most important step when choosing to intervene is to remain calm and don’t allow the issue to overwhelm you. It is so easy for us to become shaken up, so take a moment to breathe and gather your thoughts
2. Ask bully to stop
Approach the situation quickly to disperse the altercation and tell the bully that this is not the way to handle this situation and demand him/her to stop or be reported for their actions.
3. Check on the victim
Once the altercation has ended, the victim may be really upset about what has taken place. Be sure to check on the victim and make sure that he/she is ok and ensure that there isn’t any physical harm done.
4. Report the issue
No bullying incident should go unreported. If the bully is doing this to one person, then he/she could very well be doing the same to someone else. If the incident has occurred at school, be sure to seek assistance from an administrator or teacher and be very descriptive when reporting what has happened. If the incident occurs outside of school, then be sure to report it to your parent or someone who can effectively handle the situation.
Intervening can be difficult, but bullying will never end if we just continue to sit back and do nothing. Bullying can have very serious long-term physical and emotional consequences on the victims, so we need to make sure we are doing what we can to help them. Everyone deserves respect, and we all must be willing to step in and help when others are not getting treated the way they deserve to be treated.