How to be an upstander

Everyone has the power to prevent bullying. Being an upstander is one of the best ways to make a difference in our schools, workplaces, communities and whānau. 

An upstander is someone who uses their words and actions to help someone who is being bullied. 

Here are the five upstander actions: 


Awhi/support the person experiencing bullying: 

• Awhi the person being bullied, even if you just stand beside them and let them know you’ve got their back.

• Encourage them to ask for help or go with them to get help. 

• Let them know they’re not alone! 


Distract Interrupt the bullying in some way: 

• Ask the person experiencing bullying if they want to go for a walk or do something else. 

• Help them to leave the situation they’re in. 


Call it! 

• If you feel safe to, let the person/people doing the bullying know what they’re doing isn’t okay. 

• Use your words to show aroha and kindness to those involved. 

• Don’t stand by and watch. It can be hard to speak up in the moment, but it can make a huge difference. 


Leave and act: 

If you don’t feel safe to step in while the bullying is happening: 

• Move away from the situation. 

• Later, let the person experiencing the bullying know you saw and ask what might help

• You might want to have a quiet word with the person doing the bullying. 


Get some other help:

• Support the person being bullied to get help from others. This could be a teacher, a manager in the workplace, a whānau member of even support from a trained helpline counsellor. 


“Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!”