BE AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER
FIVE WAYS TO STAND UP AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Have you heard of bystander intervention? Even if you haven’t, we bet you’ve already done it without thinking…
Situations where a form of harassment is witnessed or experienced are all too frequent. Maybe we felt powerless to stop that situation, or that it was just the way the world is and we should put up with it. We don't think that's the case.
Bystander intervention doesn't necessarily mean swooping in to stop harassment whenever you see it - it actually covers a whole range of everyday actions, some as simple as checking in to see if someone's ok. It means humans looking out for other humans to create a safer, more welcoming society.
Remember to ask yourself before you intervene: is it safe to do jump in? And if so, what's the best way to intervene?
In an emergency, call the police on 999. Remember, never put yourself in danger - only intervene if it's safe to do so.
This could be confronting a perpetrator or checking if the person being harassed is ok. Before you jump in, make sure to check out the situation to ensure your personal safety - there are lots of other ways to intervene if your safety would be put at risk. Be polite and don’t aggravate the situation – remain calm and state exactly what it is about the perpetrator’s behaviour that you believe is not ok.
INTERVENE DIRECTLY TO STOP A SITUATION
Start a conversation with the perpetrator to allow their potential target to move away or have friends intervene. You could also come up with an idea to get the victim out of the situation such as telling them they need to take a call, or that someone is asking to see them. Or distracting said perpetrator by shouting 'Look at that (x) over there!' which then allows you and the victim to boogie on out of that space.
INTERRUPT THE SITUATION TO ALLOW THE VICTIM TO GET OUT
Don’t feel like you need to act alone - you can delegate to our Security team or any member of RNCM staff. If you clock harassment when out and about in Manchester, you can alert any member of staff at the establishment you’re in who will be able to help out. Or you could recruit a friendly crowd of other people to have on your side – you can chat strategy and figure out the best way to disrupt possible danger together. See it, say it, sorted.
GET SOMEONE ELSE INVOLVED
Check in with the victim of the incident to see if they are ok, and if there’s anything you can do to help them. A simple 'I'm sorry that happened to you' can go a long, long way.
You can also delegate after the event by reporting the incident you witnessed to the establishment where it occurred or reporting it somewhere else.
ACT AFTER THE EVENT
Picking up one of our badges? Boom - active bystander. Hear a sexist joke? Not responding instead of laughing along = active bystander. Believing that sexual harassment isn't ok? You are a GREAT active bystander. Start small and intentional and keep it up - we're proud of you.
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO BE AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER