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Bystander Responsibilities

An active bystander is someone who not only witnesses a problematic situation, but takes steps to speak up or step in to disrupt the situation or keep it from escalating. By being an active, responsible bystander we can help the University create a safe and inclusive environment. It’s important we all step up, speak out and stand strong - for a safer community.

When we witness behaviour that makes us uncomfortable, such as verbal, physical or sexual harassment, most of us want to do the right thing – make a positive intervention and say something to challenge that behaviour. But knowing what to do and feeling confident enough to step in can be difficult. The following are some easy tips to help you be a responsible, active bystander.

Step up

  • Be aware of situations around you
  • Assume responsibility if you see a situation that is problematic
  • See yourself as being part of the solution to help
  • Don't assume that it's just someone else's problem

Speak out

  • Let the problematic person know that what they are saying or doing is inappropriate
  • Talk to the person affected to make sure they are okay
  • Offer suggestions for help, for example someone to speak to

Stand strong

  • Be confident that helping someone in a difficult situation is the right thing to do
  • Take action but be sure to keep yourself safe
  • Take responsibility for your actions
  • Call out your friends if you see them behaving in a way you know isn't right

If necessary, seek assistance or advice by contacting Security Services on 8313 5990.

For behaviour that clearly presents a threat to the individual, students or staff members, use the Security Services emergency telephone number 8313 5444.

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