Step UP! Bystander Intervention Model
Last reviewed: 8/25/2023
What Is a Bystander?
All of us are bystanders when we observe actions or situations that jeopardize someone’s safety or well-being. One way to create a safe and healthy community is to be a prosocial bystander by taking action to help others. Being a prosocial bystander means being aware of what's happening around you and learning how to step in safely or seek help from others.
How Can I Intervene?
Stepping in can look like a lot of different things:
- telling a friend that you find their language offensive
- leaving a party early with a friend who is intoxicated to make sure they arrive home safely
- asking someone to go to the bathroom together so you can check in
Step UP! Bystander Intervention teaches five basic steps:
- Notice the event
- Interpret the situation as a problem
- Assume personal responsibility
- Know how to help
- Step up!
Tips for Intervening Safely
- Consider which intervention style is best:
- Direct: Confront the situation in the moment
- Distract: a subtle and creative way to intervene that allows you to interrupt the situation without calling attention to the situation in which you are intervening
- Delay: address the situation after the fact
- Delegate: get help from another party, whether or not they are connected to the people involved
- Document: record the situation, whether that is taking a video, pictures or screenshots
- Be aware of safety; never put yourself in harm's way.
- Intervene early, if you can, before the problem becomes a crisis.
- Remain calm while gathering information and providing the support you can.