Bystander Intervention

An active bystander is someone who intervenes to interrupt behaviors in social situations that could lead to sexual violence.  Effective intervention is the community responsibility of every person. Individuals are encouraged to speak out against attitudes that promote sexual violence and become more supportive of survivors. There are five stages to effective bystander intervention:

  1. notice the problem,
  2. understand that the problem demands action,
  3. feel responsibility to act,
  4. choose what form of assistance to provide, and
  5. respond.

Tips for Safe Bystander Intervention:

  1. Remember intervention doesn’t have to be confrontational, Simply turning on the lights or turning off the music at a party can call attention to a situation.
  2.  “Everyone plays a role in intervention.” If you don’t speak up and challenge inappropriate behavior once you become aware, in a sense you are helping to perpetuate the problem.
  3. Remain calm and speak up, say something like… “You need to just ease up” or; “she already said no to you once so why don’t you just stop”!
  4. Ask the perpetrator “what are you doing to this person”? Or “You should think about what you’re doing to yourself and your future”.
  5. Ask others in the area for assistance with group intervention.
  6. It’s not o.k. to just turn and look the other way anymore, you should do, or say something to safely intervene.
  7. Assist the person by walking them to their car or to a safe area until assistance arrives if authorities have been contacted.
  8. Call campus police or 911 if not on campus.
  9. Don’t be afraid to tell a friend when they are acting inappropriately.
  10.  Be willing to challenge inappropriate conversation or jokes directed at dating/domestic violence.