Bystander intervention – how training helps people step up

You know inappropriate behaviour when you see it. But do you know how to respond?

 

For most people, the prospect of speaking up when we witness people behaving badly is frightening. Even if we want to intervene, we may not know what to say or do in these situations. Nobody wants to make a bad situation worse.

This uncertainty is a problem for victims of harassment, abuse and violence. When people most need allies, they are frequently surrounded by people too scared or uncertain to speak up.

Witnesses to anti-social behaviour rarely know how to intervene in a way that is supportive, effective and safe. People may be keen to step in, but their uncertainty prevents them from taking action.

When should a bystander intervene?

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