Helping a friend being bullied

image cutout of a friend hugging an upset friend

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do to help a friend who is being bullied online. Here’s five ideas to get you started:

1. Reach out:

Reaching out to someone is the best way to show them you care about them. Listen to what they’re saying and do your best not to judge, knowing they’ve got someone they can turn to can mean a lot to someone who is being bullied. If you’re very worried about your friend, ask an adult or Netsafe for advice. If you’re worried that they they or anyone else is in immediate danger contact the Police by dialling 111.

2. Play nice/think twice:

It’s normal to feel mad at people who are bullying a friend, but adding to the drama will only make things worse. It’s best to find other ways to help your friend without taking revenge.

3. Keep evidence:

Help your friend to save texts, emails and take screenshots of anything that might disappear later. Make sure they keep track of dates, what happened to them, who they think did it and why.

4. Report it:

Help your friend to block or report the bully online. Most social networks have safety centres with tips on how to deal with bullying on their platforms. Here’s a list of helpful links:

Facebook Snapchat instagramYoutube Twitter

Facebook • Snapchat  • Instagram   •YouTube  • Twitter

5. Recruit backup

Help your friend identify other people who will be supportive. Remember that different people might be able to help in different ways. If they don’t want to talk to a parent or teacher, they can contact Netsafe for advice and support seven days a week.


If you need online safety help or advice, you can contact us seven days a week. Our service is free and confidential.

  • Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282.
  • Email
  • Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Online report form at

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends.

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