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Bystander Support & Intervention

Bystander intervention has been shown to be an effective and important prevention strategy to decrease rape myths, increase positive bystander behavior, and increase a bystander’s confidence in his/her ability, skills and capacity to effectively intervene to help prevent sexual violence.

What should you do if you witness sexual violence or abuse taking place? First and foremost, you should ensure that you are safe before deciding to step up and help. There are five stages to effective intervening in the event you should witness sexual violence or abuse:

1. Notice the event and pay attention - Recognize signs that an act of sexual violence may occur or is occurring.

2. Interpret what is happening - Identify that the potential victim is at risk and that intervention is appropriate.

3. Decide whether or not to take responsibility to intervene.

4. Decide the most appropriate and safest way to intervene - Know what you should do.

5. Do something! Step up and implement the decision to intervene safely to defuse the situation.

If you are witnessing or experiencing any emergency, Call 911. The Police Department can be contacted from any campus telephone by dialing Ext. 2525, or from any public or off-campus telephone by dialing (614) 287-2525.