A bystander model invites community members to practice specific actions to help prevent discrimination, bullying, harassment, violence and sexual violence by stepping in either before or during an incident, and speaking out against ideas and behaviors that support disrespectful actions and belief systems.
Tell Your Friends and Community:
- If you know something is happening or you have a sense that something is wrong
- When a person’s behavior is not acceptable—and that there is support for them to change
- We all need help and can work together
- We are not alone—there is a community to offer support
- Changes do not have to be big
- We all have opportunities throughout every day to make a difference in a small way
- There is no one "right way" to take effective and impactful action
- Always consider your own safety and Campus Security if a situation is dangerous
A Student's Voice
“I had been raped shortly before returning to college from a vacation. I was feeling hurt, angry, isolated and having a really hard time. My mom was worried and called my friends to let them know that I was not doing well. She asked my friends to look after me, and they took that responsibility very seriously.
When I got back to school, I was drinking a lot and went to a lot of parties. There was one situation that changed the way I look at things. I don’t remember anything about this particular college party, leaving the party or even being in a car with a guy and a lot of his friends. But my friends saw me leave, and they came down to the car and pulled me out. I was messed up, and it would have led to another rape. But my friends recognized what was going on, pulled me out and said to the other guys, “you can not
These friends, and my mom, saved my life. It also changed the way my friends and I looked after each other. After that incident in the car, we all made a decision that this would not happen to anyone we know or anyone at their fraternity parties. At the time it did not seem like a big deal. But looking back, this was a huge
deal for all of us to look after anyone who came to the frat parties. The fraternity became a safe place for girls to party.
If I have any advice, it would be to listen to my mom. Growing up, she would tell us every day that we don’t have a right to not
speak. She would explain that we live in a part of the world that stands for freedom and we have to do our part to make it happen. If we knew of a fight that was going to happen and we did nothing to stop it, we
would get into trouble. The reason I speak up today is because my mom would never allow us to stand by and do nothing if someone might get hurt.”Adapted from NSVRC
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." —Martin Luther King, Jr.