An Active Bystander is someone who steps in or gets help before, during, or after they see or hear violence. Active Bystander Intervention takes the responsibility of preventing violence off of the potential victim and puts it onto the community as a whole. The emphasis, instead of being on victims and what they are doing “right” or “wrong” to protect themselves, is on the community as a whole refusing to tolerate violence or the behaviors that promote violence. By giving our community the tools to recognize predatory behavior and the skills to respond to it, we empower everyone to identify predators and hold them accountable. Bystanders who choose to take action to help others are the strongest force for preventing violence. Check out our tips below for how to be an Active Bystander as part of your Party Smart Plan.
Know What to Look For
Rapists select victims whose boundaries they know they can violate. They find these targets by deliberately crossing a person’s boundaries, and doing so repeatedly. Keep an eye out for this behavior. If you see someone who won’t take “no” for an answer, that’s a red flag.
The kind of behaviors that predators use to test boundaries, such as making sexual comments or requests for sexual favors, often if not always qualify as harassing behavior. To learn more about different forms of harassing behavior, and how to respond to them visit Hollaback Vegas
Isolating a Target
A rapist will always want to be their target’s only option for a ride home or a place to stay. They want to get their target alone in order to victimize the person without getting caught.
Signs that some has been drugged
The drugs used in sexual assaults are difficult to detect, work quickly, and often mimic the symptoms of alcohol intoxication. Keep an eye out for someone who seems too drunk for the amount of alcohol they’ve actually consumed, who is having trouble moving or speaking, experiences chills and sweating, or is confused, dizzy, or nauseous.
Know How to Respond
If you see a red flag, there are lots of different ways you can help. You can decide on your strategy based on what you feel comfortable with. Always protect your own safety first. You can…
- Ask your friends if they notice something wrong too, and what they think can be done.
- Ask the bartender or wait staff to check on the situation.
- Let security know something is up and someone needs help.
- “Accidentally” spill a drink
- Start chatting with the perpetrator so someone else can check in with the target
- Invite the target onto the dance floor to get them away from the perpetrator
- Ask the target if they are okay and if they need help
- Call out the perpetrator for being creepy
- Offer to call a cab for an intoxicated target
*Remember, an Active Bystander never uses violence or threats of violence to help someone.
Want to learn even more about being an Active Bystander? Hollaback Vegas has you covered.