Grand Valley State University Women's Center

Bystander Internvention

Intervention strategies


The Active Bystander:

Active bystanders can intervene before sexual assault occurs.

Active bystanders can address sexist attitudes and beliefs to combat behavior that supports sexual violence.

Active bystanders are pro-social and intervene in ways that impact the outcome positively.

Active bystanders influence their peer group and community.

Simply checking in with someone can stop the momentum of something bad happening: “Hey, we’re all trying to have a good time, is everything okay here?”

In order to create a safer communityeveryone can take steps to be an active bystander:

  • Consider whether the situation demands some action.
  • Decide if you feel a responsibility to act.
  • Choose what form of assistance you can use to intervene.
  • Listen and be open to a victim seeking help.
  • Ask yourself, ‘If I were in this situation, would I want someone to help me?’
  • Even small interventions can make a big difference in a questionable situation.
  • Just distracting someone, saying something, checking in with a person can stop the momentum of something bad.
  • Use your cell phone (or any phone) to contact 9-1-1.
  • Speak up if someone is putting women down.

Page last modified January 17, 2014