Active Bystander Intervention
Sexual violence doesn't only affect those directly involved. Our university community can be impacted as well. Taking a shared responsibility is vital toward making change. This can include making changes in your day to day life to be mindful of complainant blaming thoughts, attitudes or statements as well as to be mindful of using gender neutral language. Prevention and intervention are a crucial part of the shared responsibility.
A bystander is anyone who is a third party observer not directly involved in the situation. When it comes to sexual violence, bystanders play an important role in interrupting a situation; however, it is vital that personal safety be of utmost importance.
Some ways you can intervene while being mindful of your own safety can include:
- speaking up in a meeting when a colleague makes an inappropriate comment
- calling a friend out for telling an inappropriate joke
- making sure a friend gets home safely after a night of partying
- helping someone connect with the Sexual Harassment Office
- promoting a sexual harassment free environment
- reporting any incidents to the Sexual Harassment Office
If you don't feel that you can intervene safely, the best option may be to call Campus Enforcement or the police.