Sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking impact many people on college campuses. Nationally, it’s estimated that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes and that they are most vulnerable between the ages of 16 and 24. College aged women and men also experience relationship abuse at high rates. As a friend or peer, you may wonder what you can do to help.
First, most people don’t commit sexual assault or hurt their partners. Celebrating that is one part of the solution. Another important part is learning to recognize the signs that someone is in danger and stepping in to prevent it. This is called being an active bystander.
Active bystanders learn how to recognize and safely intervene in potentially dangerous situations. Sometimes this means distracting someone who appears to be targeting someone who is too drunk to consent. Other times, it means reaching out to Heidelberg Security or the Tiffin Police Department for help.
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 victim if he/she is okay. Provide options and a listening ear.
Ask the person if he/she wants to leave and then make sure that he/she gets home safely.
Call the police (911) or someone else in authority or yell for help.
Call the Title IX Office or Stoner Health & Counseling Services for support
Or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE.