The “FIVE D’s” of Bystander Intervention
What should you do if you witness someone being targeted with harassment because of their race, sex, religion, color, gender, size, sexual orientation, disability, age, or country of origin?
NOTE: The 5D’s were ripped from ihollaback.org – Thanks!
The “FIVE D’s” of Bystander Intervention are:
Distract – ignore the harasser, engage directly with the person being targeted.
Don’t talk about or refer to the harassment. Talk about something unrelated.
Delegate – ask for assistance, for a resource, or for help from a third party
Check with the person being targeted before contacting 911!
The intervention of law enforcement may make some people uncomfortable.
Police may make the situation worse and/or make some people feel unsafe.
Document – Document harassment as it happens. BE A WITNESS.
Expose abuse, deter violence, substantiate reports, provide evidence.
Assess the situation first! Only document the situation if it is safe!
Is anyone helping the person being harassed?
If you are safe, record the incident safely and responsibly!
Stay safe, keep your distance. Say the date and time and what you are witnessing.
Record signs or landmarks the identify the location.
ALWAYS ask the person what they want to do with the recording.
Get CONSENT first! NEVER post or use media without the subject’s permission!
NOTE: Be sure to educate yourself on the LAWS in your city, county or state regarding filming and recording in public, and recording law enforcement in the performance of their duties.
Delay – make a difference by checking on the person who was harassed after the fact.
Wait until the situation is over and then speak to the person who was targeted.
- Ask if they’re okay. Tell them you’re sorry that it happened to them.
- Ask if there’s any way you can support them.“What do you need?”
- Offer to walk with them to their destination or sit with them.
- Share resources. Offer to be a witness and make a report if they want you to.
- If you document the incident, ask what they want you to do with the recording.
Direct – directly respond by naming what is happening and/or confronting the harasser.
THERE IS RISK: Harasser may redirect abuse and it might escalate the situation.
Before responding directly, first assess the situation! Are you physically safe?
Is the person being harassed physically safe? Could the situation escalate to violence?
Does the person being harassed want someone to intervene and/or speak up?
Do not engage in dialogue, debate, or start an argument (the situation can escalate)
Keep your direct response short and on point:
- “That’s inappropriate” “That’s disrespectful” “That’s not okay” etc.
- “Leave them alone.”
- “That’s homophobic” “That’s racist” “That’s (insert type of harassment)” etc.
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