I watched a show recently on Netflix about a girl that was bullied so badly that she took her own life. In one of the scenes she witnesses another student being rapped, and it got me thinking about what I like to call secondary bullying.

Secondary bullying is when a victim of bullying witnesses another victim get bullied. When kids are put in this situation what do they do? Sit back and watch in fear? Try and break it up? Try to ignore it’s happening? Walk away? Call for help? There is a plethora of responses to being bullied, and witnessing bullying can cause detrimental psychological effects.

Next time you speak to your child about bullying, you might want to consider having a conversation about experiencing secondary bullying. It can cause damage and terror for victims of bullies on multiple levels and although it’s not first hand, second hand can be just as dangerous.