So what exactly is bystander intervention?
Simply put, it’s when someone interrupts a potentially harmful situation. That includes stopping actions or comments that promote sexual violence, experts say.
For teens, that could mean making sure that the drunken student at the party gets home safely. But intervening is about more than just reacting in the moment to a potentially violent situation. Experts say it’s about challenging and changing the cultural norms that make sexual violence acceptable.
“It is common for people to witness situations where someone makes an inappropriate sexual comment or innuendo, tells a rape joke, or touches someone in a sexual manner. Bystanders who witness these behaviors can intervene in a way that will help create a safer environment,” Tracy Cox, spokeswoman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, wrote in an email.