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Bystander Intervention

Bystander intervention aims to prevent various types of violence including bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault and intimate partner violence. When you see something that you think is not right, say something, do something and/or get others’ attention to help prevent violence.

Every person has the ability to be an active and responsible bystander. Bystander intervention is different from other prevention efforts because it discourages victim blaming, changes social norms, and shifts responsibility to both men and women.

Bystanders can:

  • Believe someone who discloses a sexual assault, abusive relationship, or experience with stalking or cyber-stalking.

  • Be respectful of yourself and others. Make sure any sexual act is OK with your partner if you initiate by asking for consent.

  • Protect friends and fellow students. If you see someone who appears to be in trouble, ask if they are ok.

  • Speak up. If someone, including a friend, says something offensive, derogatory or abusive, let them know their behavior is wrong and you don’t want to be around it. Don’t laugh at racist, sexist or homophobic jokes. Challenge your peers to be respectful.

  • Get involved. Join a campus or community group working on these issues. Volunteer with SAS at one of our many SAS outreach events. If you’d like to volunteer, send an email to nova.sas@nvcc.eduto learn more. Many of our events are published on our NOVACares Blog and our Facebook page.  

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