Tips for Youth to Stop Violence
- Tell someone. If you are the victim or are witness to violence, tell someone. It can be anyone you trust, such as a friend, parent, teacher, coach, brother/sisters, or a neighbor.
- Take all violence and abuse seriously. Remember that many acts of violence and abuse are against the law.
- Take a stand. If you witness any form of violence or abuse, stand up, step in, or shout out that the offender is actually the uncool one, and the violence has to stop.
- Be an individual. Think for yourself. Don’t follow the crowd and don’t give into peer pressure. Don’t participate in any forms of violence or abuse just because your friends are.
- Take back the power. Offenders act violently or abusively to gain power. By not participating, you take the power away from the offender and pass it to the victim.
- Remember, putting others down doesn’t raise you up. There is never a good reason to be abusive or violent towards anyone.
- Wrong. 24/7. Violence and abuse of any type that happens at any time is wrong. Period.
- Be a friend. Help the person who is being abused by inviting them to participate in school activities. This will take away the feeling of being alone.
- Spread the word. Comfort the person who was hurt and make it known that what happened was not fair or deserved.
- Stay cool. Try not to respond to violence with anger. Anger can make things worse.
If you are a victim:
- There are trained counsellors and services in your community that can help you deal with being victimized by violence. Speak with a trusted teacher, guidance counsellor or another adult who can make sure you get the help you need. You can also call the Kids Help Phone free of charge at 1-800-668-6868.
If you are abusive:
- If you think you are abusive or know you are being violent to others and want to stop, counselling can help. You can learn to deal with people in non-violent ways. But only you can make the decision to stop your violent behaviour.
Friends and peers:
- If you think that one of your friends is being violent or abusive, let them know that the behaviour is not cool and it’s hurtful. Tell them they are responsible for their actions, and that there is help available. If you think that a friend, family member, or even a person you do not know very well is being abused, offer them your support. Encourage them to seek help, and let them know that they are not to blame for the abuse. There is power in numbers, and it helps just to know that you’re not alone.
If you see it, stop it!
- You may not be involved in the abuse itself, but don’t stand by. Watching, encouraging violence or doing nothing makes you a part of the problem.
Level the playing field and step up. Most of the time you’ll stop the violence in less than 10 seconds if you step in! Everybody has the right to feel safe at home, at school and in the community.