Bystanders are people who witness, or ‘stand-by’ while something is happening. If what is happening is causing harm to someone or hurting them, the bystanders have an opportunity to stop it.
Often when sexual violence happens around alcohol, there are other people around who can take notice of the behaviour and step in to stop it from happening. Remember that sexual violence isn’t just people having sex without consent, but can also be people being touched sexually or kissed when they’re really drunk or having photos taken of them.
THE BYSTANDER EFFECT
The bystander effect is a theory that the more people around watching something bad happen, the less likely it is that someone will help out or take action.
It can be hard to stand up and speak out when you are the only one doing it. Often people think perhaps someone else will do something, or don’t want to get involved. It takes courage to help out but when you do, you’re going to make a difference to both the person involved and your wider community.
If a person is being harmed, we all have a responsibility to help stop that harm, so that we can have a school, community and a world that is safe for everyone.