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What is Bystander Intervention?

Everyone is a bystander, every day, to a wide range of events that contribute to forms of violence such as harassment, abuse, assault, and rape.

There are many opportunities for people to get involved and intervene to prevent or change a situation before violence occurs, or to support someone who has experienced violence.

Bystander intervention is about saying or doing something to make a difference.

Continuum of Behaviors

Continuum of Behaviors

Tabachnick, J. (2008). Engaging bystanders in sexual violence prevention.
Enola, PA: National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

How can I be an active, positive bystander?

Don't buy in

  • Confront sexism or harassment when you see it.
  • Show your disapproval for "humor" which normalizes violence, assault, rape.

Take responsibility, take action - Seawolves Step Up!

  • Direct - directly intervene
  • Delegate - get someone with social influence or official status to help.
  • Distract - intervene indirectly by making conversation, asking for help finding your keys, spilling your drink, or obliviously refusing to leave.
  • Want to learn more about these strategies for intervening to prevent violence? Participate in a Green Dot Bystander Intervention training!

Support survivors

  • Don't blame the victim - people aren't responsible for violence committed against them.
  • Let them know they are not alone, what happened is not their fault, help is available, and they have choices about what to do next.

Know the resources

How can I learn more and get involved?

CPO offers a variety of workshops topics aimed at raising awareness and preventing sexual assault, rape and other forms of sexual violence. Follow the links to learn more, register for a workshop, or request a presentation!

Attend a workshop or training

Request a presentation/training for your club/organization/team/class