How to Help as a Friend or Bystander

What to do if someone confides in you?

  1. Believe them
    1. Listen without judging
    2. Use their language to identify what’s happened
  2. Listen respectfully
    1. Don’t probe for information
    2. Do summarize/clarify/paraphrase
    3. Don’t tell them your own stories
  3. Help identify other resources and safe people in her/his support network
    1. Ask what they need to feel safe
    2. Encourage your friend to seek medical attention and counseling
    3. Encourage your friend to report the assault if they feel comfortable doing so

What to do if you see a sexual offense happening?

  1. Think Safety
    • Don’t jump into a situation without thought; use your words, not fists
  2. Get Help
    • Ask a friend, RA, RD, or others to help
  3. Act Together
    • Decide together how best to intervene to keep everyone safe