Tip sheet for kids

How to talk about violence with the adults in your life

Violence happens when one person has more power than another in a situation. If this is happening to you, it’s important to change those dynamics with the help of a friend and a trusted adult. Here are some tips for how to talk to an adult

If that makes you more comfortable, tell a close friend first.
Ask that friend to go with you when you talk with an adult.
It’s the responsibility of the adults in your life to keep you safe. Pick one you trust to talk to about what’s happening.
If they don’t respond in a way that’s helpful, find another adult.
Keep finding someone to tell until you get the help you need.
If you’re not getting the help you need from the adults in your life, you can reach out to Kids Help Phone by texting CONNECT to 686868 or by calling 1-800-668-6868.

What to do when you see violence at school:

Did you know that when peers intervene, most incidents stop within 10 seconds? Here’s what you can do if you see violence happening.

Don’t stand by and watch. This can encourage the bully.
Don’t film the violence. It’s better to walk away and get an adult.
If you need to, call 911.

If you think someone is being bullied, ask yourself these questions:

Is it safe to intervene?
For example, don’t step in between people in a knife fight.
What’s your status?
Are you popular and have power? If you’re a kid who is already being bullied, you may make it worse for yourself.
Is it best to take a passive or active approach?
Passive means consoling the victim afterwards or walking away and telling someone. Active means stepping in to a situation where someone is being bullied and taking that person away from it.

CBC consulted with Tracy Vaillancourt, a violence prevention expert at the University of Ottawa, Debra J. Pepler, co-founder of PREVNet, as well as Wendy Craig, director of PREVNet when writing these tips.