Skip to content Skip to navigation

Bystander Tips

Stanford University encourages all members of the Stanford Community to be Active Bystanders against sexual violence. The following information is based on Bystander Intervention research being done at the University of New Hampshire and the guidelines developed by UNH. Learn to recognize the signs of danger and develop plans to keep each other safe.  Commit to being an Active Bystander.

Some simple steps to becoming an Active Bystander

Notice the situation. Be aware of your surroundings.

Interpret it as a problem. Do I recognize that someone needs help?

Feel responsible to act. See yourself as being part of the solution to help.

Know what to do. Educate yourself on what to do.

Intervene safely. Take action but be sure to keep yourself safe.

How to Intervene Safely

Tell another person. Being with others is a good idea when a situation looks dangerous.

Ask a person you are worried about if they are okay. Provide options and a listening ear.

Distract or redirect individuals in unsafe situations.

Ask the person if they want to leave. Make sure that they get home safely.

Call the police (911) or someone else in authority or yell for help.

What can my friends and I do to be safe?
Take care of each other.  Remember these tips when you are out... 

Have a plan.
Talk with your friends about your plans BEFORE you go out. Do you feel like drinking? Are you interested in hooking up? Where do you want to go? Having a clear plan ahead of time helps friends look after one another.

Go out together.
Go out as a group and come home as a group; never separate and never leave your friend(s) behind.

Watch out for others.
If you are walking at night with friends and notice a woman walking by herself in the same direction, ask her to join you so she doesn’t have to walk alone.

Diffuse situations.
If you see a friend coming on too strong to someone who may be too drunk to make a consensual decision, interrupt, distract, or redirect the situation. If you are too embarrassed or shy to speak out, get someone else to step in.

Trust your instincts.
If a situation or person doesn’t seem “right” to you, trust your gut and remove yourself, if possible, from the situation.


Bringing in the Bystander® is a registered trademark of the University of New Hampshire on behalf of Prevention Innovations.