Written by: Danny Brooks

“Snitches get stitches” is a phrase I heard thrown around a lot in school. People that say this are straight up whack and I’m going to explain why.

The idea is that if someone tells on someone else and gets them in trouble, the person that told is going to get beaten up. First thing you may notice is that this is a threat which would fall under the grooming tactic intimidation. If you aren’t familiar with grooming, check out our podcasts that cover it, but it’s another way of saying manipulation. Most people probably don’t literally beat up someone who snitches on them, but the idea is that it’s not cool to get someone in trouble for something.

The problem with this is that groomers use secrecy to get away with manipulating a person so that the person’s friends and family can’t step in and help them. In simpler terms, people who do bad things want as few people to know as possible so they can keep doing bad things. They don’t want you talking to your friends about the really bad fight you had with them when they called you crazy and accused you of being the reason why they drink. They don’t want your friends telling you how poorly you are being treated and how you deserve better.

So what if the bad thing they are doing isn’t affecting you? Do you say something then? It depends. Could it affect you in the future? Let’s say a friend of mine is carrying something illegal and they get in my car. It may not be affecting me now, but if I get pulled over I could get in trouble right along with them. So I wouldn’t necessarily need to report them, especially if that would put me in danger, but I definitely need to set a boundary and not let that person in my car with their illegal goods. 

Could the person’s behavior harm themselves or others? Even if a person’s actions aren’t directly affecting me, I may still report them anyway because they could end up hurting others or themselves. Actually, all teachers and counselors are required by law to report abuse they suspect may be happening or if a person may hurt themselves or others. You may not be required to report these things, but why wouldn’t you? You could save a life!

The people saying “snitches get stitches” are really good at making others feel bad for being honest and obeying the rules when they should be the ones feeling bad for their actions and ultimately taking responsibilities for the consequences of their actions. If they didn’t want to face consequences, whether natural or legal, then they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing. Don’t let groomers make you feel bad for not wanting to be an accomplice in their crimes. True strength is when people have nothing to hide and they can be honest and transparent. Don’t let people doing shady stuff convince you that you are doing wrong when you are actually doing right.