Preventing the Bystander Effect

The bystander effect is a well known phenomenon in which the increased presence of witnesses or  "bystanders" during a crisis actually decreases the likelihood that someone will intervene. This is attributed to the assumption by most individuals that someone else will respond, thus justifying their hesitance or refusal to take action. The key to bystander intervention is the recognition and acceptance that you might be the ONLY one that will act and you should take measures to intervene in the interests of helping someone else, while assessing and taking precautions to protect your own safety and well-being. 

Bystander Intervention

Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. They are often the largest group of people involved - outnumbering both the perpetrators and the victims. Bystanders can have a range of involvement in assaults. A person or persons may be aware that a specific assault is happening or will happen, they may see an assault or potential assault in progress, or they may have knowledge that an assault has already occurred. Regardless of how close to the incident they are, bystanders have the power stop assaults and to get help for people who have been victimized.
We want to promote a culture of community accountability at Stanford where bystanders are actively engaged in the prevention of violence, realizing that we are all responsible for each other in addition to ourselves.
“No one has to do it all. Nobody should feel they are doing it alone. But EVERYONE has to DO SOMETHING.”