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Bystander Intervention

As an individual we are often hesitant to intervene, but as a community we need to help each other and step in for our dear neighbor.

As a bystander we will see things occurring that we know are violations of policy, or behaviors that are inappropriate and one or more of the individuals involved may regret later.  Go with your gut instinct; if you see something inappropriate say something.

Students, faculty, and staff can intervene in potentially harmful situations, such as sexual misconduct, using one of the three Ds:

  • Delegate: Some bystanders are too wary or shy to approach a potentially violent situation directly, but can diffuse a situation by locating the friends of the person who might be in danger, or by contacting the Police, Safety, or an RA.
  • Distract: Allow a chance for separating the individuals by distracting one of them; intercede in their conversation, tell them that somebody else is looking for them, tell them their car is being towed, etc.
  • Direct: If you feel comfortable, directly approach the situation, tell them you are concerned, and offer to give that friend a ride home.

Dr. Dorothy Edwards relays a story “about a guy who saw one of his buddies taking a girl upstairs at a party. [The girl] seemed too drunk to be going upstairs, and so the guy called after his buddy and says ‘Hey, your car is getting towed.’ When the man went to check on his car, the woman’s friends intervened and took her home.”

Help us build a better community at Avila, inspire your fellow classmates to take appropriate actions, and remember that even as a bystander you too can help build a positive environment around you by speaking up.

If You See Something, Say Something!

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