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Office of Diversity and Inclusion
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Education & Reduction Resources

Bystander Intervention

Bystander Intervention is a situation where someone who isn’t directly involved steps up to change the outcome. Stepping up may give the person you are concerned about the opportunity to get to a safe place or leave the situation.

  • Everyone can be an active bystander.
  • Knowing how to intervene is an essential part of Bystander Intervention. 

3 D's of Bystander Intervention

  1. Direct: The Direct approach uses words or actions to non-confrontationally assist the person. Direct Intervention is used when you feel safe and capable of intervening directly.
  2. Delegate: If you do not feel comfortable directly approaching the situation, look for someone else to assist you. There is much power in numbers. Delegating looks different for each case, but you may be interested in calling a resource such as 911, a Victim Advocate, a Resident Assistant, the Counseling Center, or a friend. These resources can assist you with intervening.
  3. Distract: Distraction is a strategy of intervening that is both direct and non – confrontational. There are many ways to disrupt a situation. You can start a conversation with the person, spill a drink, or compliment their attire. Your goal is to prevent the problem from escalating.

Did You Know...

  • Rape is an aggressive act. It is a crime of violence where sex is the weapon.
  • Most sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim - friends, acquaintances, intimates, and family members.
  • The vast majority of sexual victimizations occur in the evening.
  • The highest risk group for rape are individuals who identify as women or LGBTQ+.
  • Men are also victims of sexual violence.
  • The majority of sexual victimizations occur in living quarters.
  • Most victims do not report the crime.
  • Alcohol is frequently involved in rapes.
  • The critical issue in rape is consent.
  • Help is available.

Reducing Your Risks

There is no typical scenario. However, there are certain types of situations that place a person at greater vulnerability. Here are some suggestions that may reduce your risks of being victimized. Some tips might seem simple, but sometimes we forget to do some of the simplest things that could keep us safe.

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Lock your doors.
  • Tell others where you are going and when you plan to return.  
  • When going out with friends, make agreements to regularly check on each other and for transportation home.
  • Know your sexual limits and assert those limits clearly.
  • Be assertive, forceful, and firm. If you don’t want or like someone’s behavior, then say so.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption and avoid drug use. Be able to take care of yourself in a responsible manner.
  • Avoid secluded places when dating.
  • Don’t accept drinks from punch bowls or open containers.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Don’t leave a party with someone you just met. Leave with the same people you came with.
  • Always be alert.
  • If you feel threatened, alert someone.   
  • Don’t worry about being polite. Scream, yell - do whatever you have to do. Be rude!
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation, person or place makes you uncomfortable, remove yourself from the environment.

Educational Presentations 

The Victim Advocacy program is available for presentations each semester. Victim Advocacy presentations are educational programs offered to the entire campus community. Presentations on victimizations include, but are not limited to: 

  • Domestic Violence
  • Dating Violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual Violence
  • Bystander Intervention
  • Start by Believing: Disclosure Training
  • Consent Workshops
Presentations are scheduled from 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the presentation chosen.