An active bystander is someone who intervenes when they see or hear behaviors that promote, condone or encourage domestic or sexual violence. Intervening does NOT mean putting yourself in danger or increasing the risk to others. Safety is key in deciding when and how to respond to any type of violence.
Intervening may mean disrupting social norms in our culture that perpetuate Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, gender-based Dating and Domestic Violence and Stalking; e.g. objectifying women, demeaning men or victim-shaming.
Active bystanders have the ability to disrupt or challenge these norms, and help create a safer environment for everyone. If you see or hear something that does not feel right, speak up. If you do not feel safe, call the police or find others to help you seek assistance. Above all, trust your gut—a gut feeling can be your best guide if a situation just doesn’t seem right.