According to the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, 1 in 4 teenagers claim they’ve endured the painful effects of bullying.
And while some kids speak out, most just don’t know what to do—or are understandably afraid of retaliation.
The good news: Most acts of bullying can be stopped within 10 seconds when peers take action in a supportive, non-threatening way.
What is Generations Against Bullying?
Generations Against Bullying is a nonprofit organization on a mission to create healthier, safer, learning environments for everyone.
Unlike most anti-bullying efforts that focus on the dynamics between bullies and victims, GAB concentrates on building up the confidence and influence of bystanders — those who typically see a peer getting bullied, but oftentimes stay silent or uninvolved.
GAB takes a more hands-on approach, offering an all-inclusive, anti-bullying solution that transforms bystanders into Upstanders — students specifically trained to provide immediate victim-support.
Victims of bullying rarely see adult intervention come to their rescue, in part because bullies don’t typically victimize their peers in front of teachers, counselors, or administrators.
Instead, most bullying takes place in the presence of other students.
Furthermore, peer reluctance to intervene creates an environment that allows bullies to thrive by inadvertently saying, through inaction, that a bully’s behavior is acceptable.
GAB saw this issue affecting millions of children each year. By using concepts from psychological research, they developed a program that empowers students to make a difference.
1. The Upstander Peer Ambassador Program (UPAP)
Participants of the Upstander Peer Ambassador Program are equipped with the tools and skills they need to identify bullying and diffuse uncomfortable situations in a calm, non-threatening manner.
Peer Ambassadors also attend workshops where they learn how to provide positive support in various situations, including camps, sports, and the cyber world.
Student Upstander Peer Ambassadors are essentially the backbone of GAB programs, and the organization says that without them, it wouldn’t be possible to create and maintain the kind of environments that discourage bullying.
GAB also works alongside Peer Ambassadors, educators, and sponsors to create life-changing experiences for students, schools, and entire communities, such as:
- Celebrity speaking engagements lead by role models including athletes, actors, and authors.
- School assemblies that uplift students and provide a platform for productive discussions about bullying.
- Sponsored community movie night events that highlight the effects of bullying through a film screening and Anderson Cooper follow-up report.
- Puppet shows that use realistic scenarios and positive messages to help create an anti-bully culture on the elementary school level.
- An “Introduction to Buddy Bear” event (GAB’s official pet ambassador) that helps address the connection between bullying and animal abuse.
Impact and Future Plans
When the Wisconsin-based nonprofit collaborated with students at a local high school to design a curriculum for their flagship program, this after-school activity became the fastest growing club at the high school.
GAB takes this as a clear sign that they’ve tapped into a need for peer-led anti-bullying interventions around the country.
In addition to the Upstander Peer Ambassador Program, GAB holds the distinction of maintaining one of the “Top 20 Bullying Blogs on The Web,” and effectively uses their website to deliver inspirational video messages, information on community services and events, and a directory of resources to help bullying victims.
How to Donate
- First, sign up for a Giving Assistant account.
- Select GAB on your Giving Assistant account settings menu
- Choose how much of your balance from cash-back rewards you’d like to donate.
- The next time you shop using Giving Assistant and earn cash back you’ll automatically donate your set percentage to Waves for Water.
Giving Assistant members interested in donating to GAB can choose just a portion (or all!) of their cash back earnings to go to GAB.
If you need more help then you can see how to use Giving Assistant to shop online and donate to a nonprofit here.
If you haven’t already you can also download the Giving Assistant button cash back extension for your desktop browser.
This will help you to start easily support GAB AND save money on your everyday online purchases at thousands of online retailers.
Not a member yet? Sign up here to start supporting GAB as you shop online.
If you’d like to learn more about how to prevent bullying, visit gabnow.org.