Risk Reduction

 

Bystander Intervention

  • A bystander is any person who is present during and a witness to an event. Bystander intervention is an essential component in preventing sexual violence because it addresses harmful behaviors before they escalate.
     
  • Watch out for your fellow employees and students if you see someone who looks like they are in trouble, ask if they are okay. If you see a friend doing something they shouldn’t, say something.
     
  • Be respectful of yourself and others. Make sure any sexual act is OK with your partner if you initiate.
     
  • Speak up if someone says something offensive, derogatory, or abusive, let them know that behavior is wrong and you don’t want to be around it. Don’t laugh at racist, sexist, homophobic jokes. Challenge your peers to be respectful.
     
  • Believe someone who discloses a sexual assault, abusive relationship, or experience with stalking or cyber stalking. Let them know resources are available.

 

Take Away the Advantages:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
     
  • Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
     
  • Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
     
  • Limit your consumption of intoxicants to the point where you can still defend yourself if you have to (a survey of students at 171 institutions of higher education revealed that alcohol was involved in 74% of all sexual assaults).
     
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.