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What should I do if I know that someone is being bullied but I am worried that if I intervene, the bullies may turn on me?

23 Answers
Last Updated: 05/01/2018 at 8:12am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Sarah Robb, LISW-S (Licensed Independent Social Worker, Supervisor Designation) and LICDC (Licenced Chemical Dependency Counselor)

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Life poses many challenges. Learning to face, cope with, and resolve these challenges can increase our resilience.

Top Rated Answers
May 13th, 2015 10:31pm
Support the victim when you can, even if you cannot directly intervene. You can still be helpful, even when you don't get to the root of the issue.
March 19th, 2015 4:30pm
The best thing you can do is find a way to help! If you're concerned about becoming the target, there may be an indirect approach you could take such as reporting it anonymously to somebody with any sort of authority. Try to put yourself in that person's shoes, if you were being bullied, would you want somebody to help or stick up for you? Think through potential options that will also keep you out of harms way. I'm sure you'll do the right thing.
March 29th, 2015 9:02pm
Just stand strong, they will g after the vulnerable. If you don't let them get to you, if you act as strong as you can, they won't hurt you. Don't let this happen to anyone if you see it, if that were you, you would want someone to stick up for you too.
April 10th, 2015 1:58pm
When you see it happening you can just step in and say "Stop, this isn't right." Bullies hardly ever turn on someone who steps in because they know that the person that stepped in is strong and not scared of them. However, if you are scared they will turn on you then it's best to tell someone with higher authority such as teachers, parents, police because they will definitely be able to stop them and if you ask, they can keep you anonymous too.
May 3rd, 2015 9:12pm
It may be best to assist the person being bullied in confidence. Making a direct approach, as you say, may result in you becoming the brunt of the abuse. Provide suggestions to the victim as if you were in the same situation and observe whether there are any changes. In the workplace, it may be worth reporting the matter to one of the directors as it will be incumbent on them to take some action.
June 11th, 2015 5:08pm
It's very noble to want to help someone who you know is being bullied. While your first thought may be to step in and try to help the victim of the bullying, it maybe wise to stop and think before you do so. If you get involved the bullies could indeed turn on you, but they could also bully the victim even more. If the bullied person hasn't asked for your help it could mean they don't want you to get involved or they are scared to tell someone. What you could do is let the person know that you are aware of their problem and you are willing to help and support them in whatever they decide to do.
September 8th, 2015 11:43am
Speak to a teacher or an adult about it, and keep being supportive to the person being bullied as much as possible.
November 2nd, 2015 5:11pm
Stand up to the bullies. Dont be scared of them, most of the bullies are cowards deep inside. Even if they turn on you, stay strong and defy them. Whatever happens youll gain a lot of respect for standing up.
November 3rd, 2015 3:20pm
take a confident and you are assuming it might turn on you but you aren't sure. Before getting into it you can also inform the person incharge as a backup option
November 17th, 2015 8:16pm
Could you mention it to a responsible adult and just say you don't want to be like named or anything? Just letting the victim of bullying know you support them may also mean a lot to them x
January 12th, 2016 5:12pm
Talk to those with authority to intervene and ask if they can keep you anonymous as you do not want to get involve.
January 19th, 2016 6:31pm
If you are scared, to stop the bullies in your own hand. Go to a adult that can handle the situation.
April 12th, 2016 4:45am
I remember being bullied at school, in my marriages and throughout my working life. Sometimes another person would give me an understanding look that spoke far more than words ever could. It's hard to speak out about injustice, perhaps disclosing anonymously is a possibility. Weigh up the risk to yourself, your personal safety is paramount. Supporting the bullied person indirectly may be all you can do. A smile of encouragement, even advising them to report the issue themselves, can be just the incentive the person needs. Bullying is demeaning and can lead to social withdrawal, feelings of worthlessness, depression and suicidal feelings. To report bullies takes a lot of courage and can lead to personal reprisals. I would try to report it anonymously and if you don't have the confidence to befriend the victim, try to be kind. At least you can rest assured you've done what you personally feel safe doing.
May 2nd, 2016 1:32am
You go anonymously to an adult. You don't want to get bullied, that's understandable. (: Have your friend go to an adult with you as well.
May 31st, 2016 6:55pm
You can try talking to an adult about it, like a teacher or your parents perhaps. Especially if it's happening at school.
November 22nd, 2016 7:59pm
Personally, I always recommend telling a trusted adult. But if you don't feel comfortable, try befriending the victim. Being a friend to that person could help more than you'll ever know.
February 6th, 2017 8:59pm
First, instead of intervening you should go and just let the person who is being bullied is not alone. Only if you let them know they are not alone it will be a great help. Other than that, once you feel encouraged enough you can go and talk to a teacher or an upper grade student you feel comfortable talking.
March 20th, 2017 9:00pm
There is nothing wrong about helping someone else out. Do that, help other people and know if they start to turn on you, you then go get help or put your foot down. Don't let others hurt you or others in this world.
August 28th, 2017 9:43am
You could speak to a trusted adult or an authority figure anonymously - that way the bullies won't know it's you therefore won't attack you however appropriate actions will take place.
November 7th, 2017 2:29am
You need more people to intervene and be by your side. Teachers, classmates and family. You need a good support system.
November 21st, 2017 5:15pm
Speak to someone who holds authority, such as a teacher or parent. You can ask that your name is not mentioned, but that you are concerned about someone being bullied. Therefore, no one will be aware that you were involved in telling an adult.
March 6th, 2018 4:29am
seek adult help as bullying is a serious issue. remember that people bully others only to make themselves feel better and more lifted. they enjoy putting others down. but if you just ignore itthey will get bored and stop bullying you.
May 1st, 2018 8:12am
Immediately inform a trusted adult. Bullying should never be tolerated. A trusted adult will be able to help you.