OUCH! Your Silence Hurts


OUCH! Your Silence Hurts


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How to encourage the silent bystander

In a powerful and compelling way, this 9-minute video motivates bystanders to use their voice to speak up for respect on behalf of someone else.


OUCH! Your Silence Hurts Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the high cost of silent collusion.


  • Explore the power of the bystander to make a difference.


  • Inspire passive bystanders to use their voice as active allies.


Ouch! is an off-the-shelf training program designed to assist you in leading a successful training session. You can use it with the first OUCH! video, or as a standalone program.


Do you ever stand by silently when you feel you should speak up? If so, your silence hurts.


Many people say they want to speak up when they see others stereotyped, disrespected, or demeaned. But they stand by silently because of discomfort or the fear of saying the wrong thing. They may turn away thinking “who am I to get involved, this isn’t my business.”


In fact, as a bystander, you ARE part of the conversation. You are the audience. Your silence allows the disrespectful behavior to continue. Your silence hurts.


Ouch! Your Silence Hurts…. challenges viewers by asking, “How will you personally respond next time you witness somebody being treated with disrespect?”


In the Ouch! video, you’ll hear about the role of the silent bystander….


When you hear a disrespectful comment or joke, you have a choice:

Reinforce it by laughing or joining in.

Tolerate it by saying nothing, which is what most people do. Or speak up and become an ally, the hardest thing of all.

You may think that by saying nothing you’re making things better, or at least not making things worse. But sometimes silence is not golden. Your silence sends a message that you agree, or at the least you don’t object. Is that the message you want to send?


Ouch Your Silence Hurts, (9 min.).

The Ouch DVD includes subtitles for English, Spanish, French, French-Canadian, German and Dutch. The package includes a DVD, a CD-ROM with PDF files for the Facilitator’s Guide and all the other printable training materials.

The Ouch! Your Silence Hurts training package includes:


  1. One DVD with the 9 min. video plus Skill-builder stories from the video, DVD Extras, a trailer.


The Ouch! DVD includes English Subtitles for the Hard of Hearing (SDH), and subtitles in Spanish, French, French-Canadian, German and Dutch.


  1. One CD-ROM with Leader’s Guide, Handouts, Mini-Poster, and PowerPoint.


When we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.

Audre Lorde

Poet and Activist


Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.

Susan Sontag


I have one word, Fabulous! This video gives real, gut-wrenching examples of individuals and situations. Most important, it challenges people and gives them the idea that they have the ability to confront stereotypes by showing them how. Ouch! Your Silence Hurts will be so helpful because most people want to do something but don’t know what or how.

Anita Rowe, Ph.D.

Partner Gardenswartz & Rowe

Co-author, Emotional Intelligence for

Managing Results in a Diverse World

The voices in the shadows was a stirring image, and the specific examples of what to say were effective. The most powerful piece of learning for me was to establish that it is better to say something that is imperfect, rather than waiting to think about the right words and saying nothing.


HR Professional

It really fills a niche in my training. It provides the practical, “what can I do?” skills. I’ve reviewed dozens and dozens of videos and OUCH! is so much better than anything else I’ve seen. Now that I’ve used it many times with my clients, I’ve completely internalized the skills and am using them myself as well as training others. Thank you!

Mary Chlopecki

Consultant & Trainer

The Ouch Video is a great complement to our harassment training since many potential harassment situations involve those “not so obvious” stereotypical comments. As participants watched the video, we could see heads nodding in agreement that stereo-types still exist. Since rolling out the training, employees in all of our facilities across the US are saying “ouch” to speak up against stereotypes.

Employee Rel. Specialist

Fortune 1000 company

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