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 speak out or take action to help create a safer community for all.
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 speak up or help in some way can be difficult.
The University offers MATE Bystander training, an education and intervention program teaching us all to be leaders in the prevention of sexual violence and harassment. This is a free 3-hour workshop and any student can register.
Some of the behaviour we may wish to address can be considered “low grade” harassment such as ‘casual’ sexism or microaggressions. It is important we name and intervene when any form of harmful behaviour takes place. The MATE workshops aim to increase awareness of – and provide options for – preventing sexual harm in all its forms.
For behaviour that clearly presents a threat to the individual, students or staff members, use the Security Services emergency telephone number 8313 5444.
How to be an active bystander on social media
How to be an active bystander with a focus on violence against women