Women's Center

Bystander Intervention Program

Bystander Intervention – Get involved – Be a Part of St. Cloud State’s Caring Community

Students often witness situations that may lead to or involve sexual violence, dating/domestic violence or stalking but don’t know what to do.  These situations provide an opportunity to step in, stop what is happening, and make a significant difference in someone’s life. 

Bystander intervention programs teach the appropriate skills to intervene safely and effectively, in both direct and indirect ways.   Effective bystander programs foster an encouraging environment for others to speak out against sexist attitudes, rape myth beliefs, and behaviors of sexual and other forms of violence. Confronting violence can help change the social norms of a community and society as a whole.  Bystander intervention strategies can lead to a culture of respect, equality, safety, and a caring community.

Here are some examples of what a bystander can do:

  • If you see a potentially dangerous situation, be willing to act, even if it means going against the crowd.
  • Talk to your friends ahead of time about how they would like you to intervene if they are in an uncomfortable situation.
  • Step in and separate the two people and let them know you’re concerned.
  • Use a distraction to redirect the focus.  “Hey, I need to talk to you.”
  • Recruit others to help intervene.

The Gender Violence Prevention Program coordinates a bystander intervention program that trains students, staff, and faculty to present workshops to various groups on campus and train individuals to become engaged bystanders.  The workshop provides various scenarios for participants to practice what they might do in a similar situation so they have a plan when faced with similar situations. 

If you would like to become a trainer or would like to coordinate a bystander intervention program for a class or group, please contact the Gender Violence Prevention Program at 320-308-3995 or email the Women’s Center at womenscenter@stcloudstate.edu .

Resources:

10 Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence (PDF)
Minnesota Men’s Action Network