Stand up for me
- Bullying is never ok and is not the victim’s fault
- Offer support to the person being attacked
- If you can, record or screen grab the attack
- Report the bullying to appropriate authorities (e.g. school, Netsafe(external link), NZ Police etc)
- Ask the young person you care about if there's anything else you can do for them
It’s easy to feel confused and not know what to do or where to turn when we are being bullied or discriminated against.
By standing up for other people we’re letting people know the bullying behaviour isn’t acceptable.
We can stand up for others in our homes, streets, schools, workplaces or on social media. It’s always worth it and it can make a huge difference for people.
A bystander can be someone who sees or knows about the bullying going on but doesn’t do anything to stop it. They might be a friend of the bully or the bullied, someone walking past it, or a person who receives personal info (photos, videos, screenshots).
A bystander might think “it’s not my business” or “I don’t want to get involved”, but this doesn’t mean they’re fine with what’s happening. Chances are they don’t like what’s going on, but don’t feel comfortable getting involved.
We can help and we have more power than we think. The Human Rights Commission suggests three actions to support someone facing bullying or discrimination: support, record, and report. These actions help us be an upstander, not a bystander.
Where you can, support the person being attacked. It might be as simple as going up to them and asking if they’re ok. Ignore the attacker and make sure the victim knows they are supported and not alone. They’ll be feeling a range of emotions – fear, anger, embarrassment – knowing they’re not alone might help them feel better.
If possible, record the attack on your phone or take screenshots if it’s online and take note of where and when it happened. This can help hold the people involved responsible and accountable.
Report the attack to authorities – the police, the bus driver, your teacher, whoever is on hand.
By doing these things, we can make sure anyone who attacks someone is held responsible and the victim feels supported.
If there is real danger involved and you fear for yours or others’ safety, call the police immediately. Dial 111.
Standing up for someone doesn’t have to be face-to-face. A lot of attacks happen online as cyberbullying.
Being cyberbullied can be awful for rangatahi / young people, and can involve:
- sharing private things or spreading rumours
- taking and posting pics or video and posting them when the other person doesn’t want it
- sending mean or abusive messages
- tricking someone or catfishing
- making threats
- making memes about someone
- leaving someone out on purpose (like tagging everyone but them even though they’re there)
If you, or someone you know, is being bullied, there are things you can do to help.
1. Message them your support
If you see online bullying, sending the victim a message can make a difference. You could ask them how they are, tell them that what’s happening to them isn’t ok, say something positive to them or ask if they’d like to talk about it with you.
2. Ask how you can help
When people are the target of aggressive or mean behaviour, they might think no one cares and that everyone is in on it. When you reach out, you let them know that you are on their side and they are not alone. See how they want you to support them.
3. Take a stand against bullying
If you are feeling brave, you might tell the person or people who are bullying they need to stop and what they’re doing is not ok. On social media, you could comment that what they’re doing isn’t right or make short comments like “dislike” under those posts. You could also post things supportive or positive of the victim in the comment sections.
Another option to call someone out on bullying is to report their nasty comments or posts. Most social media sites have 'report' buttons. Most social media let you anonymously report any content that harasses or excludes someone.
If you've tried these methods and don't get a helpful response, take it further. Talk to your school principal, parents or Netsafe(external link).
1. Speak up when someone is bullied or facing discrimination
If you see someone being victimised out in public, stand with them and support them by walking them away from the attacker. If things are unsafe, ask nearby people for help or call 111.
2. Join groups that stand up for people
Donate time and money to groups that look out for victims of bullying and discrimination. Join events that show support for human rights and anti-bullying.
3. In everyday life
If you see lies online or in conversations, say something and challenge harmful stereotypes. Speak up for people who need it and for issues you care about. Challenge your own views to keep yourself in check. Learn about and share the viewpoint of someone whose voice is rarely heard at work, in school or around the dinner table.
4. Call on leaders to uphold human rights
Ask the government to uphold human rights or sign petitions asking for human-rights focused laws. Push community leaders (cultural, sporting, religious, local) to make public commitments. Promote rights in the workplace and at school (recognition of LGBTQI rights, family-friendly policies, equal pay for equal work).
5. Inform yourself and others about why human rights matter
Head to the library or do an internet search and learn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Once you have this knowledge and understanding, share it with friends, family, and social networks. Every day there are stories of human rights abuses; having heart to heart conversations with people about why human rights matter is important.