The University of San Francisco: Think About It Talk About It

How to Intervene

Tips for Intervening

  • Approach everyone as a friend
  • Do not be antagonistic
  • Be honest and direct whenever possible
  • Avoid using violence
  • Recruit help if necessary
  • Keep yourself safe
  • If things get out of hand or become too serious, contact the police

Ways to Intervene

  • Split. Step in and separate the two people and let them know your concerns. Make sure each person makes it home safely.
  • Distract. Say, "Hey, I need to talk to you," or "Hey, this party is lame. Let's go somewhere else." In case of possible sexual assault at a party, spill your drink on them if you have to.
  • Recruit. There’s strength in numbers. If you feel unsure about intervening, recruit more people to help.

Encouraging Others to Intervene

  • Inspire action. Lead by example. Your confidence will motivate others to take action in a critical situation.
  • Make it matter. Never presume that others will care just because you do. Find a way to make it personal for them and carefully explain why they should care.
  • Think one-on-one. Requesting help from individuals is often more effective than asking groups. Make individual bystanders accountable to you and those involved in the situation.