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Local anti-bullying hotline launched

A support line for those who have been bullied was launched by the Utah Pride Center as part of its Step Up and Speak Out campaign. The No Bully Hotline will serve as a resource for youth, parents and teachers and those who are part of the queer and allied community.

Those who need advice on bullying issues may call 801-580-7680 or email [email protected] The No Bully Hotline will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a trained staff member or volunteer of the Utah Pride Center.

While no single factor puts a youth at risk of being bullied or bullying others, queer youth and those perceived as queer are at an increased risk of being bullied. There is no statewide system or policy to prevent or deal with bullying and the implementation of discipline and action is left to individual districts and communities. The hotline is designed to help victims have a witness or confidant for support and guidance.

The Step Up and Speak Out Campaign is part of an effort to provide information, resources and education for Utah’s queer youth, young adults and those working to provide safe and affirming environments for them.

“Recent news about LGBT youth being bullied in northern Utah is the impetus for our launch. This hotline may provide a new vehicle for young people to reveal a problem and tell us they’re in crisis,” said Valerie Larabee, the Center’s executive director, in a press release. “Telling someone is often the most difficult thing. It’s a great way for them to do it without any confrontation.”

Even if youth are not bullied, they are impacted by bullying. Many times, when they see bullying, they may not know what to do to stop it, Larabee said. They may not feel safe intervening in the moment, but there are many other steps they can take.

In phase two of this effort, Utah Pride will provide online resources to accompany the hotline. These resources will link to national anti-bullying websites as well as local resources for at-risk youth. The online pages will also link to current Utah bullying policies. Another important resource will also outline steps you can take if you are a bystander in a bullying situation.

For more information, go to utahpridecenter.org.

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