STEP UP! empowers the S&T community to foster a culture of awareness, intervention, and inclusion in all our interactions: in person, on social media, and virtually.
- Raise awareness of helping behaviors
- Increase motivation to help
- Develop skills and confidence when responding to problems or concerns
- Ensure the safety and well-being of self and others
What is bystander intervention?
Bystander intervention training is a community-based approach to prevention designed to create a safe and healthy campus environment.
STEP UP! training teaches participants the five decision-making step model, bystander strategies, intervention styles, and how to overcome barriers.
Request a STEP UP! training for your organization, class, department, or group today!
Bystander Effect is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.
The barriers listed below help explain why the bystander effect occurs. In other words, these are the phenomena that one must be aware of so that they can be overcome.
Ambiguity – when it is uncertain whether there is a problem or not. The more unfamiliar and ambiguous a situation, the less likely help will be offered by a bystander. This is why we must investigate.
Diffusion of responsibility – you may be truly concerned and want to help but think someone else will do something because they are more likely or qualified to help.
Obedience to perceived authority – you do something because perceived authority figure tells you to.
Conformity – a tendency to align behaviors and beliefs with those around you.
Normative influence – you go along with the group to fit in, to be liked, or to be accepted by the group.
Pluralistic ignorance – the majority know there is something wrong but no one else looks concerned so you think you must be the only one and thus you don’t do anything.
Informational influence – when you think someone knows more than you do, or has more information than you, you will follow their lead.
To notice an event one must be aware of your surroundings, anticipate problems, and look for red flags.
Err on the side of caution and INVESTIGATE!
Bystanders assume someone else will do something.
There are many ways to intervene in a situation.
You intervene in the moment to prevent a problem or situation from happening.
You are good at thinking up creative ways to engage with the people you are concerned for.
You check in after an incident has occurred to see how you can help.
You are most comfortable getting other people involved to do the actual intervention.
You are at a party. During the past hour you notice your friend Chris has been talking to one of your roommates, Sam. They seem to be having a good time but it is clear Chris has had too much to drink. A few minutes later you see Sam put an arm around Chris and start to lead Chris upstairs.
You are at a party with lots friends. After several hours, you’re talking with the host of the party when some others come up and want her to go buy some more beer. She is clearly intoxicated and doesn’t want to go but a couple people start hassling her. She finally gives in and goes to get her keys. What do you do?
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES LET INDIVIDUALS DRIVE WHILE IMPAIRED
A friend pushes and then slaps his girlfriend at a party. Other people see it and are upset but don’t do anything. He’s not a very close friend, but someone you’ve taken several courses with and have had cordial discussions. What do you do?
You are hanging out with teammates and one of them makes a very insulting and derogatory remark about someone’s alleged sexual orientation. They go on to sarcastically say that they definitely won’t be rooming with them on road trips.
You find it inappropriate. What do you do?
A high profile student-athlete lies to a professor about why he had to miss a quiz which has put him in jeopardy of failing the class. He asks his advisor to write a note excusing his absence. She refuses. He goes to other advisors. They refuse. You are friends with the TA for the class and the student-athlete asks you to get the TA to vouch for him. What do you do?