SAAD’15: Engaging Bystanders

All Good Millennials want to help those in need, including those affected by rape and sexual assault.

But, you might be saying, “I’m no Olivia Benson. What can I do to help?”

You can help by being an engaged bystander, a non-victim who helps prevent sexual violence. On average, 293,066 people are sexually assaulted each year. That number has continued to drop dramatically over the past 20 years with the help of active and engaged citizens like you.

So here’s what you can do! The information below was gathered from RAINN: Rape, Assault, & Incest National Network. They have great tips, stats, and ways for you to get involved.

If you see someone in danger of being assaulted:

  • Step in and offer assistance. Ask if the person needs help. NOTE: Before stepping in, make sure to evaluate the risk. If it means putting yourself in danger, call 911 instead.
  • Don’t leave. If you remain at the scene and are a witness, the perpetrator is less likely to do anything.
  • If you know the perpetrator, tell the person you do not approve of their actions. Ask the person to leave the potential victim alone.

Be an ally:

  • When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other frequently and leave together.
  • Have a buddy system. Don’t be afraid to let a friend know if you are worried about her/his safety.
  • If you see someone who is intoxicated, offer to call a cab.
  • Speak up and speak out – if you know your school, business, or other organization is not doing enough to prevent or handle sexual assault, do something about it.

You can also take the action pledge from the It’s On Us campaign. It’s On Us challenges all of us — victims and supporters — to take on the issue of sexual assault. Here is their 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.

When we choose to make ending rape a priority, we are choosing to make our world safer and better for all. Act now!

Want to start a campus or community campaign? Check back later in the month for more posts!

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