What Can I Do?

Risk Reduction / You're a Victim / Support a Friend

Bystander Intervention

*adapted from the NSVRC Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention

Bystander intervention is when a person or group of people take action to interrupt or assist to improve the outcome of the situation.

Steps to Bystander Intervention

  1. Notice something is wrong/inappropriate
  2. Consider taking action
  3. Choose what form of assistance to use and understand how to implement the choice
  4. Intervene
  5. Evaluate

Bystander intervention does not have to be time-consuming or complicated; often a small act can change the course of events. Below are a few examples of effective methods for intervention, but there are many ways to take action to improve a situation:

I statements have three parts. 1. State your feelings, 2. Name the behavior 3. State how you want the person to respond. This focuses on your feelings rather than criticizes the other person.

Silent Stares are a disapproving look that lets someone know what they are doing is inappropriate. Think of that look you get from your parents when you are breaking a rule.

Humor reduces the tension of an intervention by using a funny antidote. Do not undermine what you say with too much humor. Funny doesn't mean unimportant, hurtful or degrading.

Group Intervention is when a group of friends, family members, co-workers, or acquaintances work together to address a situation that's either a long term problem with a person or an immediate situation that has made them uncomfortable.

Distractions is simply used to snap someone out of a situation by providing an interruption that can give the potential target of the behavior a chance to move away or get help from another friend.