Are You an Upstander?
Be Safe, Be Smart, Be that Friend
Intervening in a situation can feel daunting, but being a good friend -- or upstander* -- doesn’t have to be challenging or confrontational, you have the power to step up and make a difference. Check out these simple tips; be that friend!
- Utilize.Recruit and utilize your friends or others around you if you feel the need to intervene. This can reduce the amount of intimidation you might feel and can boost your confidence to intervene.
- Proactive.It only takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life; step up, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something!
- Support.Be supportive to the individuals you help and check in with them. This can help them recover or cope faster from a negative experience.
- Tactful.You have the skills to change a situation and be an ally to those who need you. Remember to keep yourself safe in doing so. Ask yourself: Can I safely move the situation in a positive direction without putting myself or someone else in harm’s way? If not, seek the help of others or call 911.
- Aware.Pay attention to what is going on around you. Awareness is the first step in identifying if someone needs help.
- Non-confrontational.You have numerous options; intervening doesn’t have to be confrontational.
- Divert.If you see a friend in a situation, you could redirect the conversation towards leaving by questions like: Do you want to head to another party or do you want to grab a bite to eat? It is always okay to remove yourself from a situation; a friend can help you do so smoothly.
Be aware of the messages we hear about gender norms and how we should act, take a stand when you notice unacceptable behavior and be a role model for your peers.
- Resourceful.Do you know what resources are available to you in a given situation? Make sure to add important numbers and emergency contacts in your phone, and remember you can think outside the box.
*Upstander (uhp’stăn’dər), n: (1) an individual who is willing to step up and take action to assist others; (2) an individual who stands up for their beliefs and does what they think is right.
Are you an Upstander?
The Five C’s of Safety & Personal Empowerment
Conscious – Be aware of your surroundings.
- Check-in with friends throughout the night; keep friends in sight if possible.
- Do not accept any drink that you did not see being made.
- If you walk home, try not to engage in activities that could make you appear vulnerable, such as using headphones or looking down at your phone; walk with purpose.
Caring – Spread a culture of caring for others, it’s contagious.
- Watch out for your friends. If your friend seems disoriented or inebriated, take them home.
- Call 911 if someone shows any one of the four signs of alcohol poisoning. CA-AB 1999 protects persons under 21 from legal repercussions when calling 911 in cases of alcohol poisoning.
- Use good communication about your comfort and safety at a party (i.e., agree on a secret signal to use when you or a friend want to disengage from a conversation or leave a party).
Creative – Think original, what steps can you take to stay safe?
- Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can communicate with friends or call a safe ride home.
- Try out the new Aggie Guardian app, your personal virtual safety escort designed specifically for UC Davis Students.
- Leave parties/bars with your group of friends when possible. If you go somewhere alone, let someone know where you are and when you’ll be back.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbor. If you feel comfortable doing so, exchange phone numbers so they can be a resource if you ever need help. You can also consider checking out or even starting your own Neighborhood Watch, facilitated by the local police department, and play an active role in your neighborhood’s safety.
Courageous – Have the courage to act if you feel uneasy.
- Notify the police, apartment manager, and/or landlord of any suspicious individuals.
- If someone threatens or attacks you, don’t be scared to make a scene or call for help; this may deter the assailant and attract the help of bystanders.
- If you suspect you’re being followed, trust your instincts and try one of the following: change your direction, cross the street and/or walk to a populated area (such as the nearest store), call 911.
- Call the UCDPD Safe Ride Services or use the TapRide App if you feel uncomfortable walking on your own. Services are available 7 days a week and will transport you between locations on campus or can even take you home (10pm-6am) in Davis.
- Be cautious with your trust. It is better to be rude than unsafe.
Capable – Take preventative action when you can.
- If you’re new to an area, familiarize yourself with the neighborhood. Know the best walking or biking paths to take and know where helpful establishments such as restaurants or businesses are located in case of an emergency.
- Know ahead of time how you are going to get home from a night out. Keep important phone numbers stored in your phone; bookmark options for a safe ride home.
- When going to parties/bars, prioritize being with friends.