Knowing how to intervene in a situation is essential to becoming an active bystander. Even if you do not directly get involved because of safety concerns (which is completely okay), bringing attention to the situation could be life saving. You can learn how to intervene by reviewing our information below, and viewing the Step-Up Bystander Intervention Video. The video demonstrates real-life situations a person can be faced with, and offers different actions that can be taken in order to be an active bystander. In this post, we will discuss the many qualities of an ideal bystander. Then, we will go over the decision making steps a bystander should take, and four “D’s” of bystander intervention, (Direct, Distract, Delegate, and Delay). The four D’s are different ways you can choose to intervene in a situation, you choose which action is most comfortable for you because your safety is always important. Bystander intervention is not about placing yourself in an unsafe situation. You can contact The Shelter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with a trained advocate, 800-931-7233.


The Ideal Bystander:

  • Approaches everyone as a friend
  • Is honest and direct
  • Tries to de-escalate the situation
  • Avoids using violence
  • Refrains from antagonizing
  • Asks for help from others present
  • Knows when to call for assistance


5 Decision Making Steps for a Bystander:

  1. Notice the situation
  2. Interpret the situation
  3. Assume responsibility for intervening
  4. Know how to effectively help/decide how to best help
  5. Actually intervene in the situation


The 4 D’s of Bystander Intervention:

  • Direct: speak directly to the person doing the bad thing or to the target of the behavior
  • Distract: create a distraction, create a way out
  • Delegate: get another person
  • Delay: check on target later

View the Video below to get a demonstration on how to use the decision making steps, and the 4 D’s of Bystander Intervention. Share with your friends so they can learn too:


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