A bystander is someone who watches something occurring, such as a conflict or violent behavior, but takes no action to stop it. There are oftentimes many bystanders, causing the “bystander effect” — a psychological effect that occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation (Psychology Today).You may have been in a situation before where you were a bystander who wanted to act, but didn’t know how to intervene appropriately and safely. This post serves to give you tips as to how to go from bystander to “active bystander.”
How can I become an active bystander?
The University of New Hampshire provides some simple steps to help students become active bystanders:
How can I intervene?
Before getting involved in a situation, it is always important to keep in mind your safety, as well as the victim’s safety. Never get involved in a situation that could put yourself at risk — if this is the case, call the police.
If you are comfortable that you and the victim will not be in danger if you intervene, these are a few ways you can help (particularly in cases of dating abuse) according to New York State:
No matter what, always remember that you can call the police if things start to get out of hand.
How can I keep myself safe?
It is important to know how to intervene when you aren’t the victim, but it is equally important that you know how to keep yourself safe to avoid becoming a victim. Check out some of these posts to see safety tips for different situations:
As always, make sure to have the Haven app in case you do find yourself in an emergency and need to get help quickly or discreetly.