Think you can't be an effective bystander? It comes down to being a friend who cares.
Listen. Believe. Empower. Bystanders are the largest group of people involved in violence - they greatly outnumber both the perpetrators and the victims. Bystanders have a range of involvement in assaults.
Some know that a specific assault is happening or will happen, some see an assault or potential assault in progress, and some know that assaults do happen. Regardless of how close to the assault they are, bystanders have the power to stop assaults from occurring and to get help for people who have been victimized.
We have all been bystanders in our lives, and we will all be in situations where we are bystanders in the future. The choice, then, becomes whether we are going to be active bystanders who speak up and say something, or whether we will be passive bystanders who stand by and say nothing.
We are not advocating that people risk their own safety in order to be an active bystander. Remember, there is a range of actions that are appropriate, depending on the situation. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, calling campus security at 255-3111 or 911 is the best action a bystander can take. As opposed to being the bystander who stands by and does nothing, we want to create a culture of bystanders who are actively engaged in the prevention of violence.
As a college student, there may be times that you are underage drinking when a crime or accident occurs where you are a bystander. It is the University and Public Safety's policy not to pursue action against a student who has been drinking under age when he/she is reporting a crime or accident and attempting to aid the victim.
To learn more about what a family member, friend, or stranger may be experiencing and how you can help, follow the links below.
Violence Prevention Fact Sheets