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 community, everyone can take steps to be an active bystander:

Consider whether the situation demands some action.

Identify a responsibility to act.

Choose what form of assistance you can use to intervene.

Listen and be open to a victim/survivor 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 prevent a situation from escalating.

Use your cell phone (or any phone) to contact 911 if requested by the victim/survivor or if there is an immediate threat.

Speak up if someone is using sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist language. 

The GVSU Center for Women and Gender Equity can advocate for and help support any victim/survivor of gender-based violence. GVSU's Center for Women and Gender Equity serves victim/survivors of all ethnicities, races, religions, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

Page last modified September 10, 2021