There are two ways bystanders can take action:
1. Reactive: The choices you make in response to a situation that you think might be high risk or might eventually lead to something high risk. The 3D’s are ways a bystander can reactively respond to concerning situations in a safe and effective way.
2. Proactive: These are little things you can do to make it less likely that concerning behaviors ever happen.
Direct: This approach just means you are directly interacting with the people involved in the situation and addressing that you are concerned.
- Grab some friends and check in together
- Help them find their friends
- “Are you OK?”
- “I’m worried about you, can I get you home?”
- “Not cool, they are way too drunk.”
Delegate: If you ever feel unsafe, always delegate. When you recognize a concerning situation and you are uncomfortable saying something yourself or you feel like someone else is better suited to handle it, delegating is a solid option. To delegate is to ask someone else to help in the situation. This also notifies someone else of what is going on and that something needs to be done.
- Talk to their friends, ask them to check in
- Tell a resident assistant
- Call 911 or Campus Police
- Tell the host of the event
- Tell their friends to get them home safely
Distract: If you see a situation and can think of a way to divert and diffuse the situation, distract is an option.
- Say their friends have been looking for them
- Just stick around and don’t leave the two alone
- Say you have a story to tell them and once you pull them aside, check in with them
- Make a noise complaint to campus safety or the cops
- Talk loudly on your cell phone close to the situation
- Offer an alternative activity
Proactive Ways to Create a Safer Community
- Read all you can about sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, and how to be an active bystander
- Tweet about being an active bystander
- Make a plan with your friend group for how you will look out for each other
- Wear a t-shirt or pin with an anti-violence stance
- Assign a paper topic in class about this issue (e.g. how technology has revolutionized stalking, the cycle of violence, the portrayal of violence in the media, bystander role in violence prevention, power-based violence in the LGBTQ community, etc.)
- Offer extra credit assignments (e.g. attend a community or campus event that focuses on violence prevention or victim support, conduct an interview with a campus or local victim service provider, organize or participate in campus or local prevention efforts, etc.)
- Know the resources available locally or on campus so that you can refer students or colleagues when necessary
- Insert a slide in all of your power point presentations that includes information about violence prevention efforts or bystander behaviors
- Verbally and visibly support violence prevention efforts on campus
- Incorporate prevention efforts into strategic plan
- Recognize individuals for violence prevention efforts across campus
- Incorporate prevention messaging into conversations with the media