Bystander Intervention

You can actively help prevent incidents before they occur and help to keep your friends safe. Marquette University T.A.K.E.S. A.C.T.I.O.N. is a program built on national examples of bystander intervention. The platform raises awareness, provides skills and educates people to recognize the continuum of violence. For sexual violence prevention, Marquette utilizes the nationally-known Bringing in the Bystander ® program.

The entire campus community plays a valuable role in preventing acts that violate the basic dignity of an individual. Through training, focus groups and peer-led discussions, bystander intervention empowers and mobilizes participants to recognize, intervene, prevent and/or stop inappropriate comments, actions and behaviors.

The goals of bystander intervention training are to:

  • Understand your role in the community.
  • Educate the Marquette community about the incidence of violence.
  • Gain a critical awareness of potential problems.
  • Recognize situations where you can help.
  • Learn how to be an active community member.

Strategies for intervening:

  • Survey the area.
  • Identify risk indicators.
  • Make your presence known.
  • Use verbal strategies to diffuse situation.
  • Use your resources.
  • Monitor and/or report situation.

Marquette T.A.K.E.S. A.C.T.I.O.N.

Marquette T.A.K.E.S. A.C.T.I.O.N. focuses on potential bystanders — those of us who have an opportunity to prevent or intervene in an incident. We are asking bystanders to become interveners. Assume personal responsibility. Choose to be respected rather than liked.

When people do intervene in a situation, they often say that it was the right thing to do, and that they’d want someone to intervene if the roles were reversed.

A. Aware

Be aware of the event and understand that you need to help.   

C. Create 

Create possible solutions. Through knowledge and training, you can better evaluate alternative courses of action.

T. Take your time/Think it through/Tag team

Take your time and think your response through so that you do not escalate the situation. Is the situation an emergency requiring direct intervention, or can you discuss at a later time? Take a deep breath and stay calm. Enlist help if you can by publicly stating your intention to help. More often than not, people are as worried about the situation as you are, but aren’t willing to be the first one to speak up.

I. Intervene

Intervene in the situation as soon as it is safe to do so. At the very least, speak up. A conversation will help determine if an ambiguous situation requires help.

O. Open dialogue/Observe options

Key to creating an open dialogue is to remember your audience, the timing, location, tone and why you are having the conversation. Try to understand others' points of view.

N. Negotiate solution/Negate further conflict

Help negotiate a solution. Tell your friend what behavior is or is not acceptable, and know the appropriate next step if you feel the discussion failed to yield a desirable outcome.

If your student group would like to receive bystander intervention training, please contact Sara Johnson at (414) 288-5778 or request a program online.