Prevention and Bystanders

 


Call 911 in an Emergency or if You or Someone Else is in Imminent Danger

Caution: Please be aware that phone, tablet, computer and other device activity may be monitored. It can be safer for victims and survivors to obtain information using a device a perpetrator does not have potential access to. For more information, visit or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline • 800.799.7233 or 800.787.3224 (TTY).


The content of this page was produced by NO MORE and is used by permission.


Taking Action to Stop Violence

Everyone can play an active role in stopping domestic violence and sexual assault before it occurs by becoming an engaged bystander and helping to establish an environment where healthy and positive relationships are based on respect, safety, and equality.

Moreover, taking steps to stop harassment or violence can make a significant difference in someone’s life, and send a powerful message to the perpetrator and society as a whole about which social norms are acceptable and which are unacceptable.


So, What Does an Engaged Bystander Look Like?

An engaged bystander is someone who intervenes when they see or hear behaviors that promote, condone or encourage domestic or sexual violence (links to NO MORE). Intervening does NOT mean putting yourself in danger or increasing the risk to others. Safety is key in deciding when and how to respond to any type of violence.

Intervening can mean disrupting the social norms that perpetuate domestic & sexual violence in our culture such as:

  • glorifying abusive power over other men or women
  • objectifying women
  • demeaning men
  • tolerating violence and aggression
  • promoting male dominance and adults’ misuse of power over children
  • sexually abusive or physically violent hazing
  • blaming victims for what happened to them

By disrupting or challenging these norms, you are acting as an engaged bystander and helping create a safer environment for everyone.

If you see or hear something that does not feel right, speak up. If you do not feel safe, call the police or go to the authorities.

Above all, trust your gut. A gut feeling can be your best guide if a situation just doesn’t seem right.

If you see, hear or suspect that someone is in immediate danger call 911.

TOP  |  Help 24/7 ►  |  National Domestic Violence Hotline  |  National Sexual Assault Hotline  |  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  |  National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline  |  Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community  |  The Trevor Project Helpline for LGBT Youth (Ages 13-24)  |


Bystander Intervention Scenarios

  • Talk privately with the victim, ask them if they would like help. Listen and do not judge.
  • Offer to help them look for local resources (links to NO MORE) to keep them (and any children that may be present in the home) safe.
  • Try not to outwardly judge or confront the abuser as it may make the situation worse and put you in danger too.
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1 800 799 7233) to talk to a counselor about how you can help without putting you or the victim at greater risk.
  • Talk to the individuals and their friends and ask where they are going? Do they need help? Ask where their friends are.
  • Offer to help the impaired individual get home safely.
  • Speak to someone in charge like a bar manager, bouncer or the host of the party to help intervene.
  • Call the authorities if you hear of or see someone drugging someone’s drink(s) or giving someone something that they don’t know may severely impair them.
  • You can tell the group making the comments to stop their sexually harassing behavior, or ask them to imagine how they’d feel if someone made that comment about one of their family members or someone else they cared about.
  • You could ask your friend if they want to leave and talk to a teacher or counselor.

Whatever you choose in the moment, you should tell an authority figure about the harassment and ask them to intervene. While it’s not physical violence, these types of harassing behaviors help foster an environment that condones domestic & sexual violence in our society. 

  • Tell them that regardless of what they think happened that it’s never the victim’s fault.
  • Give them resources (links to NO MORE) that explain the realities of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Contact your human resources representative or immediate supervisor and ask that the staff receive training on these issues.
  • Tell the victim that what is happening to them is not right and it’s not their fault.
  • Offer to help them look for local resources (links to NO MORE) to keep them safe.
  • Check in with them to see if they are safe and offer to help them involve individuals resources to help make the abuse stop.
  • Speak up that their comments are degrading to their teammates and to women in general and it’s not cool with you.
  • Talk to teammates individually about the situation and ask that they not join in those behaviors.
  • Ask the coach to talk to the team, or individual, about how harassment and the degradation of women and girls is not okay.
  • Call 911 and report what you hear.
  • If you know the neighbor and when it is safe to talk to the victim, let them know that resources are available locally to help them.
  • Offer to let them use your phone or computer to look up local resources or to contact  someone that can help them.

TOP  |  Help 24/7 ►  |  National Domestic Violence Hotline  |  National Sexual Assault Hotline  |  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  |  National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline  |  Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community  |  The Trevor Project Helpline for LGBT Youth (Ages 13-24)  |


Additional Bystander Intervention Resources

More Resources | References

  • Know Your IX Stopping Campus Rape through the use of policies enacted through Title IX. Changing Campus policy and rules regarding sexual assault and harassment through Title IX and the Clery Act.

  • Know Your Power Developed by researchers at the University of New Hampshire,this campaign is a nationally recognized program focused on reducing sexual and relationship violence and stalking on college campuses.

  • Green Dot Campaign is based on the idea that peer influence often predicts behavior. In instances of harmful or violent words, actions, or behaviors, each person has a choice to ignore or accept (a red dot) or intervene to address it (a green dot).

  • Loyola University in Chicago Program

  • Love is Not Abuse teen dating violence tips and resources for youth to recognize the warning signs and speak out about unhealthy relationships. Teen Abuse helpline 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522.

  • That’s Not Cool teen focused information, video and games campaign that use the use of social media and technology as a means to discuss healthy relationships and abusive behaviors.

  • How to spot and report suspected child sexual abuse. Online resources for helping keep a child safe from abuse.

Next: Use NO MORE to raise awareness about these issues in your community

TOP  |  Help 24/7 ►  |  National Domestic Violence Hotline  |  National Sexual Assault Hotline  |  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  |  National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline  |  Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community  |  The Trevor Project Helpline for LGBT Youth (Ages 13-24)  |


References

NO MORE (2015). Preventing Violence. Retrieved from http://nomore.org/take-action/preventviolence/?utm_source=sp7486831&utm_medium=email&sc=sp7486831. Used by permission.

TOP  |  Help 24/7 ►  |  National Domestic Violence Hotline  |  National Sexual Assault Hotline  |  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  |  National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline  |  Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community  |  The Trevor Project Helpline for LGBT Youth (Ages 13-24)  |


TOP  |  Help 24/7 ►  |  National Domestic Violence Hotline  |  National Sexual Assault Hotline  |  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  |  National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline  |  Safe Helpline - Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community  |  The Trevor Project Helpline for LGBT Youth (Ages 13-24)  |