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How to Support

When talking to your child/youth about bullying consider the following:

How can I help my child stay safe?
Does my child need help to stop bullying others?
What information do I need?
Who has the responsibility to take action?
Where can I go for help

Gather information regarding the bullying situation.

  • Who is doing it?
  • What else happened?
  • Has this person done it before?
  • What have you tried already?

Is this a bullying situation?

  • Has this happened more than once?
  • Do you feel powerless?
  • Are you being hurt with words or actions?

Can you work it out yourself?

  • Stay Safe;
    • Can you leave the situation safely?
    • Can you safely stay away from the bully?
  • Take Stand;
    • Staying calm
    • Keeping a strong posture
    • Using an assertive voice
  • Build Connections.
    • With friends, peers or adults

Do we need to tell another adult?

  • Keep telling until it stops.

Acknowledge the Incident

  • You were right to tell me.
  • I’m sorry this happened to you.
  • Can I help?
  • Thank you for telling me.

Click here for a safety plan template

Safety Planning for those Being Bullied

The responsibility to protect children from all forms of abuse, including bullying, is the responsibility of parents, teachers, and other adults in the community. It takes a lot of courage for a youth to report a bullying situation. Safety planning is an important part of keeping children and youth safe. Everyone deserves a healthy, safe and supportive environment. Children and youth should be part of the safety planning process. The plan should be fair, respectful and action-oriented.

Safe Places

Identify places you feel safe at the location you are being bullied (home, school, organization, community space)
Identify places where you feel unsafe at the location you are being bullied

Safe Strategies

Identify strategies you can use to stay safe at the location you are being bullied
(Take a stand, avoid certain situations, avoid certain people, build connections with others etc)

Safe people and support networks

Identify safe and trusted people at the location you are being bullied

Identify other supports and resources

Identify actions required in detail and the person responsible for those action

*Safety plan review in order to make sure plan is working or needs to be modify

*Safety Plans need to be fair, how people might feel, will it work and is it respectful to all parties involved.

In summary,

  • The plan should include:
    • Where the child will play and with whom? Or How to avoid further encounters?
    • What she or he can do if bullying continues?
    • Who will the child will tell if it happens again?
  •  Follow-up: meet to determine success of plan.
    • “Have you been able to put the plan in place?”
    • “How well did it work?”
    • “Has there been more incidents?”
  • If the plan doesn’t work then ask: “What else could you try?

Safety Planning for those Engaging in Bullying

In some cases you might need to develop a safety plan to protect other children and youth:
Supervision of child/youth during free times
Designate play/hang-out areas
Behaviour management strategies
A plan for involving the child/youth in positive activities with peers
Review and update plan

*Safety plan review in order to make sure plan is working or needs to be modify

*Safety Plans need to be fair and respectful to all parties involved.

Include others if

  • The child has experienced a serious threat against them
  • The child is threatening a violent retaliation
  • The child is self-injuring or is talking about suicide
  • The child has experienced a violent act
  • If you are afraid for the child’s safety, emotional or physical
  • if the child has experienced serious harm, emotionally, socially, or otherwise

Child, Youth, and Family Crisis Line of Eastern Ontario:

613-260-2360 (24/7)


613-723-1623 │

Youth Services Bureau:

613-260-2360 │

CHEO’s YouthNet:

613-738-3915 │

Centre psychosocial:

613-789-2240 │

Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario:

613-321-3211 │

Ottawa Public Health:

613-580-6744 │

* Parents can also contact their child’s school and/or school board to determine appropriate next steps:

Ottawa Carleton District School Board

Ottawa Catholic School Board

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Conseil des Écoles Catholique du Centre-Est

How Parents Can Help
There is a very high risk of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, aggressive behaviour and suicide for bullied LGBTQ youth. Unconditional and instant support from a parent can give a teen struggling with his or her sexual identify the strength to deal with victimization and feelings of isolation.

Strategies For Parents To Help LGBTQ Youth Deal With Bullying

  • Lead By Example
    Demonstrate tolerance and acceptance of all sexualities and diversities. Do not tolerate homophobic slang for LGBTQ (e.g., fag, lezzie, dyke). Do not support media that is making fun of LGBTQ issues.
    Challenge Your Own Assumptions
    Don’t automatically assume your child or his or her friends are heterosexual or “straight” as it could inhibit your child from seeking your support. Identify your own misconceptions and stereotypes about LGBQT issues.
  • Encourage Youth To Report
    It is the parents’ job to deal with bullying. LGBTQ youth are often afraid to come forward for fear of victimization or because they are not “out”. Let your child know that you want to hear about every incident of bullying and harassment.
    Listen Closely, Respond Quickly
    Parental support can be a powerful weapon against the negative effects of victimization. LGBTQ youth may deny bullying out of shame or fear, so parents must be aware of the signs of bullying. Treat every incident as important and intervene on your child’s behalf.
  • Be Inclusive Of All Youth
    Children are influenced by how their parents act. Create positive connections among LGBTQ youth by encouraging and reinforcing respectful and cooperative behaviour whenever you see it. Treat LGBTQ youth as members of your family, that you would not tolerate being hurt of embarrassed.
    Reduce The Chances For Bullying
    Surround your adolescent by youth who will stand up for him/her. Enrol in a school, community groups and organized activities that support LGBTQ issues. Work with your adolescent’s school to promote a tolerant environment.
  • Seek outside support
    LGBTQ youth who are bullied often have difficulties with depression and self-esteem. Counsellors can provide support through individual counselling or support groups for LGBTQ adolescents who are having difficulty fitting in, and who may be marginalized or targeted by peers.
  • Publically Support LGBTQ Issues
    Speak up for LGBTQ youth heard by contacting the people responsible for policy development in schools boards and provincial and federal governments. Increase policy makers’ sensitivity to the issues faced by these youth. Support policies that recognize the existence of homophobic bullying.

Prevnet, 2015

Family Services (LGBTTQ+ Around the Rainbow)

CHEO’S Gender Diversity Clinic

Centretown CHC (Mental Health Counselling Program for LGBTTQ+ youth ages 12-25)


PFLAG (Support for Parents of LGBTTQ youth)