Being An Upstander - Prevent Bullying

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Table of contents

  1. Bystander and Upstander Definition
  2. Impacts of Bullying and Harassment on victims
  3. Upstander Strategies
  4. Statistics on Bullying and Harassment

“When you’re not fixing the problem, you’re part of it!” delivers a meaningful message to teach people to act. In the specific subject of bullying, this slogan is informing us that if you are or have witnessed bullying, and don’t do anything in your power to fix the situation, you become part of the issue. The main message of this slogan is to always step in, always stand up for what is right and never doubt yourself. It is communicating that if you can see someone who is either getting bullied or harassed to help resolve the situation and provide support for the victim, otherwise you become a bystander and part of the bullying.

Bystander and Upstander Definition

A bystander is someone who witnesses an incident but does nothing about it. Whether the witness knows or not, by not acting and staying silent, the bystander becomes part of the bullying behaviour. By doing nothing, the bystander is basically implying that they agree with disrespectful and hurtful behaviour. Bystanders stay silent as they are usually fearful of getting hurt or bullied. They feel powerless and don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

On the other hand, an upstander is someone who is aware of the issue and acts to try and fix it. They are particularly someone who steps in on behalf of a bullied victim. Being an upstander is a heroic deed. They are standing up for what they believe is the right thing to do and supporting a victim who is either getting bullied or harassed.

Impacts of Bullying and Harassment on victims

There are many impacts that bullying and harassment have on victims, short term and long term. Some short term impacts on the bullied victim are social isolation, signs of anxiety and depression, and lack of sleep. In some circumstances, bullying can lead to feelings of shame, poor performance at school and changes in eating habits. Bullying can also create long term effects on the person getting bullied or harassed. These include an increased risk of health issues and anxiety disorders. A larger possibility of self-harm, more suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts.

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Another long-term effect on the victim is difficulty establishing trust and friendship, which can later lead to isolation. In a situation where someone was bullying another person, the bully would make the victim feel bad about themselves, which could lead to isolation, depression, or anxiety. It could also distract the victim, and make the victim’s eating habits change and could also create the victim to have poor performance at school. All these issues could also make the victim hate themselves, and inflict them to harm themselves. Bullying and harassment have many short-term and long term impacts on the victim and sometimes the bully as well. These impacts have negative effects on the victim that lead to self-harm, health issues, depression, and isolation.

Upstander Strategies

There are many strategies that an upstander can apply to help with bullying situations. These include lending a hand, giving support, talking to a trusted adult or teacher. Numerous strategies are effective and usually help resolve the situation. By providing support, you are helping the victim feel better about themselves and giving them more confidence when standing up to the bully. Notifying or talking to a trusted adult or teacher is also a great strategy in these situations. By talking to a trusted adult, they can provide the victim with support, help, and advice. They also have authority and can stop the bullying immediately. Some other ways to help are to be inclusive, respect differences, to not be a bystander, and to stop the spread of disrespectful behaviour and messages.

Furthermore, there are several beneficial websites that provide helpful information on how to prevent bullying and who to talk to. Helpline, StopBullying, Headspace, Healthdirect, Bullyzero, and many more. These beneficial websites can provide information on what to do. For example, Helpline provides counsellors for victims if they have no one else to talk to. They can give expert advice on how to face a bully and how to prevent bullying. As an upstander, there are many strategies that are helpful and effective, some as simple as providing support or talking to a trusted adult.

Statistics on Bullying and Harassment

The rate/amount of school bullying was the highest among students. The majority of schools (72%) reported managing one incident of cyberbullying in the previous year. 84% of kids in school that were cyberbullied were also bullied in person. Another statistic is that 20% of adolescents under 18, approximately one in five, reported experiencing cyberbullying in any one year. Globally, it is estimated that 246 million children under 18, experience some form of bullying or violence every year.

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Being An Upstander – Prevent Bullying. (2021, July 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from
“Being An Upstander – Prevent Bullying.” Edubirdie, 19 Jul. 2021,
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