Bystander Empowerment

The Title IX office has kickstarted a new campaign supporting the SLC community as we STRIVE to eradicate sexual violence. One way to help fulfill this mission and make our campus a safer place for all is to learn what to do when you OBSERVE. Here is how to be an empowered and active bystander

An empowered bystander is someone who actively promotes a culture of safety by standing up and responding when they witness situations that threaten the health and safety of others.

Sexual violence can happen anywhere and at any time. It is important to feel prepared to step in during situations where it is appropriate. Remember, safety is the top priority. If you think getting involved could bring harm to you or the victim, call for help. 

The actions you can take are The 5 Ds”: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct. (Visit for more information on the 5 Ds.) Tips and tactics on each method can be seen in the graphic. Different situations may call for different actions to be taken. Think about how you would carry out each of the five different methods so that you will feel more prepared if a time ever arises where you need them. For more examples of how you can use the 5 Ds, check out the OBSERVE video series on the SeVA Instagram, @SLCseva

Ideally, intervention can take place before violence occurs. If you feel as though there is a risky situation that might lead to violence, it is better to safely intervene than to walk away and allow for the possibility. 

If we all hold ourselves accountable to take action when we witness sexual violence occurring, the SLC community will become a better place for all.  

While no one can ever truly prevent themselves and others from becoming a victim of violence, here are some simple ways to help keep you and your friends safe:

  • Keep an eye on your drinks and the drinks of friends

  • Refuse alcohol from common, open containers

  • Go out as a group, leave as a group. Watch out for your friends.

  • Set up a code word or phrase you can use with your friends to signify when you are feeling uncomfortable

  • If you decide to leave with someone other than the people you came with, let your friends know where you're going, when you'll be back, and who you're going with.

  • If you suspect that a friend has been drugged, call 911 immediately and be explicit with doctors in order to ensure proper medical care.