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.
- EMPOWER. 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.