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Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying

15th April, 2023

Update as of 15 June 2023

We’re really proud to have raised NZ $638,000 in collaboration with Pink Shirt Day to support the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

Let’s celebrate diversity.

Promote kindness and inclusion.

Together we can create safe environments where bullying can’t thrive.

From April 24th – 21st May, 100% of proceeds from all Cotton On Foundation products and donations in New Zealand will support the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand to raise awareness and understanding of the prevalence and impact of bullying on young people’s mental health and wellbeing with programs and resources that reduce bullying.

On May 19th, we’ll participate in Pink Shirt Day, a day to remind us of the power of coming together to end bullying, harassment, and discrimination in Aotearoa.

Pink Shirt Day started in Canada in 2007 after two students stood up for another student who was bullied for wearing pink. The next day, hundreds of students wore pink to stand in solidarity with him.

While a bystander is someone who sees or knows about bullying happening to someone else, an Upstander uses words or actions that can help the person being bullied. By wearing a pink t-shirt on Friday 19 May, you’re showing your commitment to being an Upstander every day of the year.

Be an everyday Upstander

Research shows more than half of bullying situations stop when tauira/students intervene. By being an Everyday Upstander and calling out bullying when you see it, you’re becoming part of the solution to stop bullying in Aotearoa.

See someone being bullied? 

Upstander actions 

  1. 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 a kaiako/teacher for help or go with them to get help.
  • Give them our Getting Help and Advice page.
  • Let them know they’re not alone!
  1. 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.
  1. Call it out!
  • 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Get some other help
  • Support the person being bullied to get help from others – whānau, kaiako, a trusted adult or a helpline and then act on their advice.