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Becoming an active bystander

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How to be an active bystander

1.

Notice the event/ behaviour

2.

Interpret it as a problem

3.

Feel empowered to take responsibility for dealing with it

4.

Possess the necessary skills to act

Deciding to intervene: At the time of the incident

Direct intervention:
1. Call out negative behaviour
2. Distract: Interrupt the person, change the subject, start a conversation, create a diversion
3. Only intervene when it is physically and psychologically safe to do so
Indirect intervention: Ask the target of the behaviour if they are okay, or if they need help

Deciding to intervene: After the incident

Direct intervention:
1. Ask someone else to step in
2. Create bystander allies
Indirect intervention: Check in with the person who was bullied/ harrassed afterwards

Strategies for intervening

1.

Use ‘I' statements:

• State your feelings

• Name the behaviour

• State how you want the person to respond

2.

Silent stare/ body language

3.

Social norms: Identify that this is not usual or accepted behaviour

4.

Group intervention: There is safety and power in numbers

5.

Engage empathy with the person behaving inappropriately

6.

Reframe the intervention as caring

7.

Distract: Snap someone out of their ‘comfort zone'

Only intervene if it is safe to do so

1.

Know your limits as an active bystander and engage others as necessary/ if you do not feel confident about doing it alone

2.

Conduct conversations in a safe environment for you/ the person you are speaking to

3.

Know in advance how to report concerns and who to report to

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