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Bystander Intervention

Bystander intervention is an essential component in preventing sexual violence. It may be helpful to have conversations with groups in your community about effective intervention, take time to address the fears and concerns that they may have, and also highlight the positive effects bystander intervention has on the community.

  1. What are some reasons that we don't intervene when we see someone harassing or disrespecting another person?
    • Have you ever had the opportunity to help someone in such a situation and not done anything? What made intervening difficult?
    • How did you feel afterward?
    • What did you learn from that experience?
  2. If you were in the position of being harassed and/or disrespected by someone, what would you like a bystander to do?
    • Can you share an example of a time someone came to your side to offer support, or challenge someone's behavior towards you?
    • Can these actions be a part of changing our cultural norms?
  3. Bystander intervention is often times seen as a method of preventing sexual violence, because it addresses harmful behaviors before they escalate.
    • What are some behaviors that you feel you could safely challenge?
    • What are some behaviors you might be able to change within yourself?
  4. How do we help our communities identify behaviors of concern?
    • What are some of the root causes of these behaviors?
    • What are some ways to help our community make those connections?
  5. By addressing harmful behaviors consistently, we aspire to change societal norms. Why is shifting societal norms important when we talk about preventing and responding to sexual violence?

Additional Online Resources

Reviewed: April 11th, 2016