You can actively help prevent incidents before they occur and keep your friends safe. Marquette University Takes ACTION is a program built on national examples of bystander intervention. The platform raises awareness, provides skills and educates people to recognize the continuum of violence.
Through training, focus groups and peer-led discussions, bystander intervention empowers and mobilizes participants to recognize, intervene, prevent and/or stop inappropriate comments, actions and behaviors. The entire campus community plays a valuable role in preventing acts that violate the basic dignity of an individual.
Often people don’t intervene because they may assume the situation isn’t a problem, or feel it is none of their business. They may assume that someone else will do something, or believe that other people weren’t bothered by the problem. In some cases, a person might feel their personal safety is at risk.
When people do intervene in a situation, they often say that it was the right thing to do, and that they’d want someone to intervene if the roles were reversed.
Marquette Takes ACTION focuses on potential bystanders — those of us who have an opportunity to prevent or intervene in an incident.
Be aware of the event and understand that you need to help.
Create possible solutions. Through knowledge and training, you can better evaluate alternative courses of action.
T. Take your time/Think it through/Tag team
Take your time and think your response through so that you do not escalate the situation. Is the situation an emergency requiring direct intervention, or can you discuss at a later time? Take a deep breath and stay calm. Enlist help if you can by publicly stating your intention to help. More often than not, people are as worried about the situation as you are, but aren’t willing to be the first one to speak up.
Intervene in the situation as soon as it is safe to do so. At the very least, speak up. A conversation will help determine if an ambiguous situation requires help.
O. Open dialogue/Observe options
Key to creating an open dialogue is to remember your audience, the timing, location, tone and why you are having the conversation. Try to understand others' points of view.
N. Negotiate Solution/Negate further conflict
Help negotiate a solution. Tell your friend what behavior is or is not acceptable, and know the appropriate next step if you feel the discussion failed to yield a desirable outcome.
If your student group would like to receive bystander intervention training, please contact the sexual violence advocate at 414-288-5244.