Bystander Intervention

Bystander Intervention

What is a Bystander? What is the Bystander Effect?

A bystander is any person who is present at an event or incident but does NOT take part.

The bystander effect is when multiple people are witnessing a problematic situation, but no one does anything about it because they assume someone else will help. This results in the Diffusion of Responsibility, or no one taking responsibility for doing something to help. (Fischer et al. 2011 The Bystander-Effect)

What is Bystander Intervention?

Bystander Intervention involves developing the awareness, skills, and courage needed to intervene in a situation when another individual needs help. Bystander interventions allow individuals to send powerful messages about what is acceptable and expected behavior in our community.

Five Step Decision-Making Model

  1. Notice the Event
  2. Interpret the Event as a problem
  3. Take personal responsibility to intervene
  4. Decide how you are going to intervene
  5. Take action to intervene

Rules for Bystander Intervention

  • Do NOT put yourself at risk
  • Do NOT make the situation worse
  • TIP: Intervene at the earliest point possible (which does not necessarily mean confronting), look for early warning signs of trouble and ask for help