Lifestyles Center Blog

MASTERING MONDAY: HOW TO BE AN EMPOWERED BYSTANDER

Read this: https://www.samuelmerritt.edu/sexual_violence/bystander

This article is on the Samuel Merritt University website. It is a really good source for information on why people are inactive bystanders, why it is important to be an active bystander, and ways in which to become one.

Watch this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeYd8x4Dlf8

This video is a TEDx Talk on bystander intervention. More specifically, this video talks about campus sexual assault and the nationwide “It’s On Us” campaign. You might recognize this campaign because SUNY Oswego has a very well-known “It’s On Oz” campaign. When someone takes a pledge for the “It’s On Us” or “It’s On Oz” campaign, they are pledging to be an active bystander.

The pledge reads:

I PLEDGE to RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault. To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given. To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

Do this: Being an active bystander means intervening when you notice something is wrong or could go wrong on campus or in the community. Try these tips to be an active bystander.

  1. Intervene in any way you can when you see a bad situation developing.
    1. If it is safe, diffuse the situation by calling it out or using a distraction strategy. Feel free to enlist the help from nearby friends or community members.
    2. If the situation is unsafe, call University Police at (315)312-3555.
  2. Trust your gut.
    1. If something looks like a bad situation, it probably is. It is better to stop something than to let a sketchy situation progress.
  3. If you don’t know, ASK.
    1. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they are okay.
  4. Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.
    1. If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, ask their friends to help them get home safely.
    2. If their friends are nowhere to be found, bring them home or stay with them and reach out to a residential life member or call University Police.
  5. Recognize the potential danger if someone is targeting someone else at a party.
    1. Create a distraction.
    2. Draw attention to the situation.
    3. Separate the people you are concerned about.
  6. If someone tells you they have been assaulted respond.
    1.  If someone discloses a sexual assault or a situation that made them uncomfortable, do not assign blame to them or minimize their situation.
    2. Encourage them to do one or more of the following:
      1. Report the incident.
      2. Seek medical care if necessary.
      3. Seek out resources and supports like counseling.
    3. Some resources on campus are:
      1. Lisa Evaneski: (Title X Coordinator; 405 Culkin Hall; 315.312. 5604; lisa.evaneski@oswego.edu. Both are confidential and only checked by Lisa.
      2. University Police325.312.3555
  7. Attend a Bystander Intervention Training.
    1. If you’re passionate about intervening in situations to help others, this is a great way to learn more!
    2. The dates and times of the trainings are as follows:
      1. Feb 21st, 3-4:30pm, MCC 141; Feb 24th, 2:30-4pm, MCC 306; Mar 7th, 4:30-6pm, MCC 256; Mar 24th, 1:30-3pm, MCC 141; Apr 13th, 4:30-4pm, MCC 256; Apr 21st, 2-3:30pm, MCC 141. Email Shelly Sloan with any questions at shelly.sloan@oswego.edu.
  8. Help out with SUNY Oswego’s It’s On Oz Campaign to combat sexual assault.
    1. It’s On Oz day will be held in April (tentative).
    2. Take the pledge in MCC when you pass the It’s On Oz table.
    3. Follow the It’s On Oz social media campaign on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
    4. Check out the national It’s On Oz campaign page: http://itsonus.org

Written and compiled by Sarah Pasquarelli, Peer Mentor

Photo Cred: here