We can all play a role in preventing violence by practicing effective bystander intervention. Simply put, bystander intervention is taking responsibility for getting involved when we see a situation that could cause potential harm. We know that by speaking up, stepping in, or calling for help we have the potential to change a dangerous escalating situation. Bystander intervention involves much more than just reacting when there is a threat of physical danger or bodily harm. It also involves stopping comments and jokes that glorify sexual violence, or that degrade women or sexual orientation. It might also mean that you pay attention when someone has consumed too much alcohol and help them get to a safe place.
Important points that all students should know about bystander intervention
- Intervening never means that you should risk your own safety. Never put yourself in danger.
- Decide the most safe and effective way to intervene.
- Ask others to help, set off an alarm, make a loud noise, delay and distract if appropriate.
- Approach the potential victim and ask if everything is all right.
- Call campus police to help you evaluate the situation.
- Follow up with a campus incident report and let trained professional intervene and take action that is needed.
- Always contact the PVCC Public Safety Office or the Dean of Student Services if you have a concern about anyone’s physical or mental well-being.
- Bystander intervention is also helpful in identifying bullying and verbal harassment on the campus. If you see this happening or hear that it has happened to a fellow student let campus police or the Dean of Student Services know as soon as possible.
- Bystander intervention does not mean that you are a snitch. It means that you are a caring person who wants to make sure that others are not harmed.