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Bystander Intervention

Student in Philomathean Room

Bystander Intervention is a philosophy and strategy for prevention of various types of violence.  It involves safe and positive options to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

What can bystanders do to make a difference?

  • Believe someone who discloses a sexual assault, abusive relationship, or experience with stalking or cyberstalking.
  • Be respectful of yourself and others. Make sure any sexual act is OK with your partner if you initiate.
  • Watch out for your friends – if you see someone who looks like they are in trouble, ask if they are okay. If you see a friend doing something shady, say something.
  • Speak up – if someone says something offensive, derogatory, or abusive, let them know that behavior is wrong and you don’t want to be around it.

Other Bystander Intervention Strategies

  • Silent Stare - A disapproving look can be more powerful than words.
  • Humor - Reduces the tension of an intervention and makes it easier for the person to hear you.
  • Group Intervention - There is safety and power in numbers.
  • We’re friends, right….?
    • Reframes the intervention as caring and non-critical.
    • Example: “Hey Chad…..as your friend I’ve gotta tell you that getting a girl drunk to have sex with her isn’t cool, and could get you in a lot of trouble. Don’t do it.”
  • Distraction
    • Snaps someone out of their “sexist comfort zone.” Example: Ask a man harassing a woman on the street for directions or the time.
    • Allows a potential target to move away and/or to have other friends intervene.
      Example: Spill your drink on the person or interrupt and start a conversation with the person.

(Adapted from Men Can Stop Rape, www.mencanstoprape.org)

/ Title IX

Scott Fitzgerald
Director of Human Resources
Title IX Coordinator
p/ 614.823.1130
e/ Sfitzgerald@otterbein.edu

Julie Saker
Associate Dean of Students
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
p/ 614.823.1554
e/ Jsaker@otterbein.edu

Colette Masterson
Director, Center for Student Involvement
Title IX Investigator
p/ 614.823.3205
e/ Cmasterson@otterbein.edu