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Stop Sexual Assault

If You Think Someone Needs Help

A bystander is someone who sees a situation or event but is not involved in it. An active bystander is someone who sees a negative situation or event and intervenes in some way to prevent harm.

Be An Active Bystander

Being an active bystander does not always mean a person has to physically or directly intervene. There are many ways to help:

  1. Contact the police.
  2. Notify on-campus personnel such as a resident mentor or an administrator.
  3. If you're out with your friends, and someone is harassing your friend, knock a drink over or cause a distraction to defuse the situation.
  4. If you see a friend who is noticeably intoxicated and is being intimate with someone, pull your friend aside and encourage them to call it a night. Remember that consent is clear, sober, conscious, willing and affirmative agreement to engage in sexual activity.
  5. If you see a friend who is noticeably intoxicated begin to leave a party with someone they've just met, pull your friend aside and encourage them to leave with you or go home.
  6. If a friend is getting ready to leave after a night on the town and has been drinking, insist they call a cab or find a designated driver to take them home.
  7. If you see a couple arguing and one of the individuals is visibly upset, ask them if they are OK to help defuse the situation.
  8. If you see an individual walking through the parking garage looking in cars, call the police and report the suspicious behavior.

The university's bystander accountability initiative, Stand Up Carolina, teaches community members signs to look for, ways to step in and resources to help. Stand Up Carolina also offers bystander accountability training. Other training programs are available for UofSC students.

Stop Sexual Assault