Bystander Intervention is the interruption of behavior or speech by someone who is present for or a bystander to that behavior or speech. More simply, it is spontaneously helping in a situation when help is needed.Step UP! Bystander Intervention training teaches members of the Providence College community strategies to effectively intervene in concerning or emergency situations in which no one else has yet taken action to help. In a higher education setting, Bystander Intervention techniques are most often applied to circumstances of alcohol misuse, sexual assault, bias incidents, hazing and mental health challenges.Bystander intervention is not just about aiding in challenging moments, but also about challenging social constructs and promoting community. Active bystanders pay attention, speak up, take initiative, and defy conformity.The mission of Providence College aims to “share the fruits of contemplation in an increasingly global and diverse society.” The Friar Family Step UP! division compliments this mission in that bystander intervention trainings go beyond providing effective intervention techniques. We believe that through discussion based conversations, relationships are formed and the power of empathetically connecting with others in our community will effectively help shape a more inclusive and safe environment. Through training, focus groups, and peer-led discussions, Step UP! empowers and mobilizes participants to not only to intervene, but to critically contemplate their role in our community and society.“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
More information about the Step UP! Model is available here.