Bystander intervention is a sexual assault prevention strategy that encourages witnesses to take safe action when they see a situation that might lead to sexual assault, and to support victims after an incident. Being an active bystander does not require that you risk our own safety or the well-being of others. The goal is to aid in the prevention of violence without causing further threat, harm, or damage. There is a range of responses you can use that are appropriate, depending on the situation. However, if you or someone else is in immediate danger, calling 911 is the best action a bystander can take.
As a member of the Owens community, you can help us to ensure a safe community through the following:
Awareness: Be aware of situations that could lead to sexual violence.
Responsibility: You are a part of a campus community that supports and helps each
Commitment: Make a commitment to help maintain a safe environment to learn an work and report threats to the safety of students and employees of Owens.
Confidence: Be confident in your ability to take effective action to prevent sexual
violence. Trust your intuition and don’t hesitate to call for help.
Intervention: Intervene in ways that protect your own safety and are truly supportive to
Resources: Bystanders also need safety nets for themselves -- you can call upon
resources and community policies that support intervention.
Additional Techniques to Help the Community
- Don’t participate in sexist conversation. Don’t laugh at rape jokes.
- Change the subject when you hear sexist or rape-supportive comments.
- Address it. Tell your friends that sexist or rape-supportive comments are not OK.
- Watch for signs of predatory behavior. Intervene to prevent a sexual assault from taking place.