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Bystander & Community Information

Not a bystander: Bystander intervention to prevent sexual assault

In our last video, we discussed the prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses, including Drexel. We encouraged individuals affected by sexual violence to speak out and access the resources they need. In this video, members of the Drexel community talk about concrete steps every Dragon can take to prevent incidents of sexual violence from occurring in the first place. Every Dragon is entitled to feel safe and welcome, and it's on us to make that happen.

Trigger Warning:
The following video shows a fictional scenario leading up to a rape. It does not show the rape itself, but may be triggering to some people. Please take this into consideration before viewing the film.

What is Bystander Intervention?

Bystander Intervention is a prevention model that recognizes the social dynamics of sexual violence and misconduct, and the opportunities that are frequently present for certain individuals to act in a manner that addresses or prevents misconduct before it occurs.  Bystanders are individuals who witness sexual violence or misconduct (or situations that could lead to sexual violence or misconduct), and whose presence may present an opportunity to either provide assistance, do nothing, or even contribute to the negative behavior.  Pro-social Bystanders are individuals who act to intervene in ways that produce positive outcomes.

Research shows that various factors can influence an individual’s decision to intervene in a given sequence of events. Bystander Intervention programs educate students so that they are able to identify troubling situations as they develop, overcome the various obstacles to intervention that may exist in a given situation, and identify strategies for safely and effectively intervening when trouble arises.

Bystander Intervention at Drexel and the University’s Culture of Care

The University expects all community members to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sexual violence or sexual misconduct. Taking action may include direct intervention, calling law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. Community members who choose to become prosocial bystanders will be supported by the University and protected from retaliation.

Drexel University's Bystander Intervention Program is designed to:

  • Help individual’s to understand the concept of bystander intervention
  • Identify the spectrum of appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Develop empathy for those who have experienced sexual violence or misconduct
  • Help community members to understand their role in bystander intervention and encourage commitment to intervene in incidents of sexual violence or misconduct before, during, and after the occur
  • Identify barriers to bystander intervention and techniques to overcome them in real-life situations
  • Develop skills to enable community members to function as prosocial bystanders

How Can I Become a Pro-social Bystander?- Tips for Effective Intervention