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How to Intervene

At CARE, we believe that everyone can play a role in preventing gender-based violence such as sexual assault / harassment, stalking and human trafficking. However we understand that not everyone knows or feels comfortable with intervening. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable or unsure about intervening. When we see something happening, it's important that we are all Up-Standers and actively intervene. If nothing was actually happening, it’s okay. The individuals will let you know and even might thank you for intervening. Together we help create a strong community where we all feel safe and comfortable.

What can you do?

  • To help, we have developed the “3-Ds”. A tool that can help anyone intervene when they suspect something is occuring, while keeping your safety in mind:
    • Direct: When we suspect something is or is going to happen, we directly approach the situation. This can be exemplified by telling the person who you think is doing the hurting to stop or bringing direct attention to them. We can also be direct by bringing attention to the person who you think is being hurt and asking them if they are ok or need help.
    • Distract: For those not comfortable with being direct, we also recommend to intervene by distracting. By distracting, we are changing the subject, diffusing the situation by changing the location, topic or separating the individual(s). This is exemplified by interrupting the individuals and asking “Hey do you know where the library is?”, “Do you know what they are serving at the pavilion?” or in case if at a party, dancing between the individuals.
    • Delegate: By delegating, we are asking help from others to address the situation, such as asking a friend to help to intervene or asking an authoritative figure (an RA in the dorm halls, Professor/TA in the classroom, or Cat Cop) to intervene on your behalf.
  • Change the Culture
    • Challenge victim-blaming statements and jokes about rape, stalking and abusive relationsships. Examples can be “What were they wearing?”, ”“Don’t drop the soap”, “I’m instagram stalking this person”, or “Wifebeater” when you mean a tank top. When people make these types of statements, they are essentially sending the message that what the perpetrator did was okay.
  • Attend educational programs and training to learn more about the complexities of interpersonal violence, such as how to recognise the signs, how to intervene and what resources are available for help.
  • Model healthy relationships/ interactions with others and treat others with respect.
  • Promote posters, fliers, brochures and buttons from the CARE office or the Valley Crisis Center.