Bystanders are the largest group involved in violent, oppressive and insensitive acts. They greatly outnumber perpetrators and victims/survivors, and they have the power to stop abuse and to get help for those being victimized.
Active bystanders are people who are aware of a conflict or an unacceptable situation, including an abusive, oppressive, or violent situation, and choose to speak up or do something, without putting their own safety at risk.
Some behaviors which a SUNY New Paltz student may observe and which may prompt active bystander interventions are:
- Rude, inconsiderate behaviors or language
- Offensive or derogatory humor
- Escalating conflict
- Dangerous behaviors or threats
- Harassment or bullying
- Pressuring advances
Safe active bystander choices include:
- Telling someone else about what you are observing
- Diffusing the situation by redirecting the persons involved
- Asking if the offended person wants help
- Asking if the distressed person wants to leave; if so, leave with others
- Calling 911 or University Police (845-257-2222) if there is immediate danger
How to help yourself and your friends be safe:
- Make a plan
- Stay with your group and watch out for one another
- Call for help if needed
- Use the campus Escort Service (845-257-3338) for late night walks across campus, 10a.m. - 4p.m.