Now that you know more about bullying...
Do you feel like it might be possible that you’ve done it to someone else?
If you think you have, it’s OK. You’re thinking about it, wondering what to do, and that’s a big first step.
Realizing that you’ve been hurting someone else can take a lot of courage.
The good news is that at COPA we’ve seen so many people realize things like this and then decide to change. And we see that people really can.
Thinking about how to make it up to the person that’s been hurt, or who you approach for support, is the next big step. Hopefully there are some ideas here that can work for you.
You can also call Kids Help Phone, by the way, and talk to someone about it if you'd like.
You don’t have to give your name or anything (it’s anonymous) and it’s totally free of charge. They’re open all the time.
The Kids Help Phone number is
The smart ideas and strategies that we have worked on can be used in almost any scenario. It’s up to you to choose. And alter them as you go.
No matter what, though, there are some things that are always true:
- Everyone’s rights matter. Everyone gets to be safe, strong and free.
- When someone is trying to hurt someone else, they’re taking their rights away.
- Thinking about rights is a great way to think about how you feel or how to act.
Whose fault is it?
- When something goes wrong and other people try to hurt us, we think it’s our fault. It’s not.
- Only the person or people who are doing the hurting are responsible.
Bullying and assault:
- There are different kinds of ways to hurt people, and different forms of assault (psychological, verbal, physical and sexual).
- When it’s on purpose (to hurt feelings, exclude someone, make them ashamed or embarrassed, physically hurt, etc.) that’s assault.
- When someone is targeted on purpose and singled out, that’s bullying.
COPA’s three strategies can really work, and you can mix it all up:
- Standing up for yourself: being clear, direct, honest
- Getting help from someone your own age who you trust
- Getting help from a grownup you trust
- Avoiding the problem can feel easier, but it usually means that the situation continues and maybe gets worse.
- Being aggressive and getting revenge might feel assertive, but it can usually cause more problems and adds to hurt.
- Assertive is that balance where you protect your rights. It can really work – especially if you have someone – your age or grown up giving you support.
Being an ally:
- Standing up for your friends or others can be hard and scary.
- There are a ton of ways of ways of doing it, some more direct than others.
- Your friend’s feelings and ideas matter too.
- People can be more courageous when they know someone else is there beside them in some way.
- Getting help from someone you trust – a friend or an adult can go a long way.
- Consent means giving permission.
- Authentic consent means that you are giving consent and feeling safe, strong and free.
- You can change your mind – that’s OK.
- Not answering or saying maybe is not considered consent.
- Body language can communicate a lot.