If You See Something, Say Something
Bystanders, passers-by, eyewitnesses play an important role in stopping bullying and sexual harassment. If you see someone who is being harassed, take action. If it feels safe and natural to speak up, say, “Come on, let’s get out of here” to the person you see getting bullied or bothered. You probably shouldn’t try to change the bully’s behaviour by yourself, but it is OK to let the bully know people are watching and will be getting involved.
If you don’t feel you can say something at the time you see the incident, report the event to a higher official. This isn’t snitching. It’s standing up for what’s right. No one deserves to be harassed. You could also talk to the victim afterwards and offer support, because at that time, we are their backbones. Say that you think what happened is not OK and offer some ideas for dealing with harassment.
If You Suspect Something
You won’t always see sexual harassment or bullying happening. A friend who is going through it might not talk about it.
Sometimes people show signs that something’s wrong even if they don’t talk about it. Maybe a normally upbeat friend seems sad, worried, or distracted. Perhaps a friend has lost interest in hanging out or doing stuff. Maybe someone you know avoids school or has falling grades. Changes like these are often signs that something’s going on. It may not be sexual harassment or bullying (things like mood swings or changes in eating habits can be signs of many different things). But it is a chance for you to ask if everything’s OK.