If you witness cyberbullying or online harassment:

  • Don’t be a bystander. Be more than a witness. Be an upstander.
  • Don’t publicly engage the person who is cyberbullying.
  • If you feel comfortable, reach out to the person engaging in cyberbullying privately or reach out to a mutual acquaintance.
  • Let the person know what he or she is doing is wrong and hurtful.
  • Be careful.
  • If you know the victim, consider reaching out and offering support.
  • The same applies for youth, but you can also speak to an adult parent, relative, teacher, guidance counselor, coach, clergy, activity leader, etc.

When Lisa-Michelle was a victim of cyberbullying and harassment, there were a handful of people who stood up for her and privately reached out to the person. She was impressed with their bravery and compassion. At the same time, it hurt to know there were many people who witnessed what was happening, but chose not to get involved. People often are afraid cyberbullies will retaliate when upstanders try to assist a victim. If you are uncomfortable communicating directly with someone who is engaging in cyberbullying, consider reaching out to someone who can help.

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