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Active Bystanders Care

What is an Active Bystander?

  • Every day we witness many things (both good and not so good). This makes us all bystanders.
  • We also make decisions about how to respond to what we see. Our choices can turn us into active bystanders.
  • An active bystander witnesses an act that is harmful (such as name-calling, derogatory joke-telling, rumors, property damage or physical violence) or potentially harmful (such as “hitting on” someone who is too drunk or otherwise incapacitated to consent) and doesn’t just passively observe or walk away.
  • An active bystander DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Why is it important to act?

Taking action early—before a situation escalates—can be effective and safer for everyone involved. When we take action, we…

  • positively impact not only the people experiencing, but also those committing a harmful act.
  • help give others the confidence to speak up or act.
  • contribute to creating a community where people care about and help each other.
  • improve our own lives by supporting a culture that values healthy relationships and offers help when needed.

When we…

  • stay silent
  • do nothing
  • look the other way
  • say, “It’s none of my business”
  • think, “someone else will deal with it”

…we support hurtful behavior and unequal treatment...we participate in a system that allows violence, discrimination and suffering.  

‌The Active Bystanders Care Program provides leadership and effective helping skills for students to actively intervene in situations where sexual violence (sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) may occur. This program focuses on three techniques for active intervention in these situations. These techniques are the 4 D’s:

  • Distract
  • Delegate
  • Direct
  • Delay

Through the program training, participants will be able to increase their own, as well as their peers, motivation to intervene and ensure the safety and well being of themselves and others, while raising awareness of sexual violence. The focus of this program is to shift the spotlight from victims and perpetrators to the development of skills to do effective bystander intervention.

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