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How to be an Engaged Bystander

What should you do if you witness a potentially harmful situation? Everyone at Ensign College can be engaged bystanders. An engaged bystander is a person who intervenes in a safe and positive way either before, during, or after a situation or event in which they see or hear behaviors that promote sexual harassment in any way.

So what can you do to be an engaged bystander? Show you CARE by using these four intervention ideas:

Create a Distraction
Ask questions
Refer to an Authority
Enlist Others

Create a distraction. Do what you can to interrupt the situation. For example, cut off the conversation with a diversion like, “C’mon let’s get lunch, I’m starving,” or “Hey, I need your help with something, come here.”

Ask questions. Talk directly to the person who might be in trouble. Ask something like “Who did you come here with?” or “Would you like me to stay with you?”

Refer to an authority. Sometimes the safest thing to do is refer to a neutral party with authority. This could be an instructor or other employee while on campus, or a security guard or law enforcement officer while off campus. If someone is in immediate threat of harm or danger, don’t hesitate to call 911.

Enlist others. It can be intimidating to approach a situation alone. You may feel more comfortable asking someone to come with you to approach the person at risk. Sometimes there is power in numbers.

Have a question? Our Virtual Assistant may be able to help.

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