Step UP and Being an Active Bystander

Step-UpAs we go about our day to day lives it is inevitable that we will observe unacceptable behavior or conflict such as sexual harassment, sexual assault or alcohol abuse. By choosing to be an active bystander you have the power to change the outcome of that situation and how it affects the people involved.

What is an Active Bystander?

An active bystander is someone who intervenes in a problematic situation. This intervention can be as simple as asking the victim if everything is okay or calling for help. While it sounds easy on paper, research has shown that the more people who witness an event, the less likely it is that someone will intervene.

Why is it Important?

Not only do your actions matter to the person who is or may be harmed, but they also send a clear message to others about the values of the community. When you interrupt problematic behavior you empower others to do the same and ultimately are part of positive change.

How Do I Help?

The biggest thing you can do is practice being an active bystander in your day to day life.
5 simple steps to being an active bystander are:

  1. Notice the Event – Be aware of your surroundings
  2. Interpret it as a Problem – Recognize When Someone Needs Help
  3. Take Responsibility – If Not You, Then Who?
  4. Know How to Help – Learn More About Resources On and Off Campus
  5. Step UP – Take Action and Intervene

If you are interested in learning more about being an active bystander and the Step UP. campaign please visit: