Active Bystander Strategies

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Strategy: Publicly support an aggrieved person

Help someone who has been hurt or offended, and/or prevent further injury or offense.
Uphold a community norm or value, making it clear to all that others in the community do not condone such behavior.

Consider the risks of taking sides. Sometimes the need to prevent further harm immediately outweighs the potential for retaliation against either you or the aggrieved person by the offending person, but sometimes it does not, making a private word with the aggrieved person and/or the offending person later a preferable course of action.


  • Situation #2:
    A fellow graduate student receives a public dressing down by a professor in a lab meeting.

    Response: Hand the graduate student a glass of water, or change your seat to be next to him/her.
  • Situation #4:
    You hear a fan at an athletic event make a cruel remark about someone on the opposing team, who seemed to overhear it.

    Response: Say, loud enough for her to hear, “You’re just worried that she’s going to win.”


Strategy List | Situation List

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