We are all bystanders, all the time. We witness events unfolding around us constantly. Sometimes we recognise events as being problematic. When this happens, we make a decision to do or say something (and become an active bystander), or to simply let it go (and remain a passive bystander).
When we do decide to intervene, we are sending a clear message to the wrongdoer that their behaviour is socially unacceptable. If such messages are constantly sent and reinforced within a community or group, then the boundaries of what is considered normal, acceptable behaviour will shift and problem behaviour can be stopped.
The Intervention Initiative empowers people to become active bystanders and teaches skills to intervene during a facilitated programme.
Intervention Strategies are as simple as*:
- Using body language such as staring or a disapproving look
- Interrupting or distracting someone
- Not laughing at a sexist or a violent joke
- Talking to a friend about their behaviour in a non – confrontational way
- Supporting friends who have experienced problematic behaviour in a non-judgemental way.
THE GOLDEN RULE: Always keep yourself safe and only intervene when it is safe to do so. If in doubt, call for help.
*Only intervene if you have had bystander training.