Bystander intervention

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bystander intervention

What is bystander intervention

More than 90% of sexual misconduct is committed by someone the person knew. 60% of assaults occur in the home of either the victim or the perpetrator.

In many of the circumstances that can lead to sexual assault, there's a high probability that bystanders -  friends, teammates, classmates, family or just everyday people who happen to be walking by - will witness something that doesn't look quite right.

  • You're at a bar and one of your friends has had too much to drink. A man starts dancing with her and is about to lead her out, even though she doesn't look coherent.
  • While at an apartment party, you notice people being told to drink from a particular container. You overhear someone comment that the container contains something "special," but you're unsure what that means.
  • You're hanging out with your friends and one of them mentions how he can't wait for the party on Thursday night so that he can get some of your female friends "wasted" and have sex with as many of them as possible.
  • You see someone in the bathroom after a hard night of partying and they cannot stop throwing up.

If you ever find yourself in a situation described above, take the initiative to step in and intervene. Although it can be awkward or inconvenient to confront a friend or peer, your action may remove a potential situation of harm, along with all of the resulting physical, emotional, academic and even criminal consequences for the people involved.

Remember: we are all responsible for the well-being of our campus community. If you see a situation that poses a risk for sexual or interpersonal misconduct, step in and speak up!

How to be an effective bystander

Whether you're at a party, hanging out with friends around campus or at a bar, you have the power to prevent friends and peers from falling into situations of harm.

Step UP!

StepUp logoStep UP! is a bystander intervention program that educates students to be proactive in helping others.

Step UP! training will prepare students to identify a situation as a problem and intervene safely, thereby reducing problematic behaviors. The goals for students are:

  • Recognize reasons why people may not intervene
  • Develop specific intervention skills
  • Increase motivation and confidence to help.
  • Empower participants to act on their values.
  • Create a safer, healthier, more caring environment.

Step UP! aims to positively affect MCC students, employees and the community by utilizing the S.E.E. Model: Safe Responding, Early Intervention and Effective Helping.

  • Safe - never put yourself in harms way but talk to someone, make a phone call (911 if necessary) and engage others.
  • Early - intervene early before the problem becomes a crisis or disaster.
  • Effective - know what to do and how to do it.

Step UP! teaches five decision-making steps:

  • Notice the event
  • Interpret the event as a problem
  • Assume personal responsibility
  • Know how to help (safe intervention or seek outside help)
  • Implement the help - Step UP!

These skills will not only impact student decision making on campus, but will serve them in the future as they protect family, friends and fellow citizens. These skills are applicable in all environments.