Bystander Interventio

Bystanders are often able to prevent emergencies from occurring. If you are in an emergency, calling the police (911) is often the correct response. If you’re witnessing a concerning situation, consider one of the following “D” tactics:

  1. Dilute: Try to dilute the situation. Calm the individual or situation. Often when alcohol is involved, dilute can mean watering down a drink with ice or non-alcoholic beverage, or “losing” someone’s drink.

  2. Distract: Attempt to distract the person away from the situation. Ask them to dance. Take them to get food. Go outside. Move them away from the problematic situation.

  3. Direct: Directly confront individuals involved in the situation. Ask, “Do you need help?” Or consider, “You are coming with me.” Be direct in your communications and avoid being too open to suggestions. “This is not cool. Not okay. It ends now.”

  4. Delegate: Ask a friend, a mentor, a proctor, or the police for help.

Also, know what resources are available to you. For example, use the LiveSafe app to send a text to the police if you need prompt but discreet assistance.