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Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

Bystander Intervention

Bystander Intervention graphic with direct, distract, delegate, and delay.

Bystander intervention is about intervening in a safe way when we see a risky situation unfolding to prevent and de-escalate potentially violent incidents.  We have a shared responsibility to create and maintain a campus environment in which sexual violence against men and women is not tolerated. 

Bystander Approaches:

How do I intervene? It depends on the situation.  There are numerous strategies to intervene safely in a situation.  Consider one of the four D's:


If you feel comfortable, step in and stop the inappropriate behavior and remove a victim from a potentially dangerous situation.  Directly ask those involved "What is going on here?" or "May I speak to you in private?" 


Divert an alleged offender's attention by drawing their attention elsewhere.  For instance, say to the alleged offender, "That person over there looks like a celebrity, but I can't think of his/her name."  When the offender looks away, pull the potential victim out of the area.  Or offer the parties involved some food, "Why don't we get some pizza?"


Notify a person with more authority than you to a questionable situation.  The person with more authority could be law enforcement, a resident assistant, or the host/hostess of a party.       


Postpone a situation by gathering additional information if you are not sure whether to intervene.  Ask the potential victim if there is anything you can do to help.  For instance, you may ask, "Are you okay?" or "Is there anything I can do to help you?"  Or ask the parties to look at a picture or video on your phone.

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