Bystander Intervention

Up To Us

As part of the Rutgers-Camden Campus Community, we believe that everyone has a role to play in stopping interpersonal violence and addressing the attitudes and behaviors that allow such violence to occur. It is part of our Raptor Creed to take care of each other. We can make a positive difference in the life of another person.

You can take an active role in increase your safety and the safety of other members of our communities by engaging in bystander intervention.

Bystander Intervention is a primary prevention strategy that works to stop attitudes and behaviors that cause violence before they happen.  We encourage everyone to have a role in ending violence in our community. We want all students, faculty, and staff to be positive, active bystanders.  This means that you will intervene in situations that don’t feel right to you.

There are 4 main ways to intervene, also called the 4 D’s:

1. Direct

Talk directly to the person who might be in a bad situation. Ask questiosn like "Who did you come here with?" or "Would you like me to stay with you?"

You can also speak directly to the person who may be inflicting harasment or assault. For example, simply asking "What are you doing?" if some is trying to lead an obviously-intoxicated person to a private area.

2. Distract

Distract attention away from the aggressor, potential victim, or situation by interrupting with a conversational phrase or question that acts as a diversion. This can be as simple as "Let's go get pizza, I'm hungry!" or "Someone is looking for you!" 

3. Delegate

Delegate means to get someone else involved. This is a great strategy to use if you are concerned about your own safety, don’t know the people involved or feel someone in a position of authority or power would be better suited to intervene.
You can choose to involve the friends of the person you are concerned about or the person causing the harm or violence.  You can also delegate to a person who is has authority in the situation such as the party host, manager or bartender, or a security or police officer.

4. Delay

Delay is a technique that includes was the intervene after a situation of violence or harm. This can be checking-in with the survivor to make them feel valued; educating yourself about oppresion and ways to get involved; and avoiding victim blaming comments.

It is important to intervene in a way that fits your comfort level and keeps you safe. Practicing these strategies with friends, RAs, members of your student organizations and clubs, and other students can help you gain confidence to step up when a situation feels wrong. Keep in mind that although stepping in to prevent violence is important, it should never put your own safety at risk!

No matter what strategy you use, we hope that you will choose to do something and do so in safe way that doesn't cause further harm to you or anyone else. ​For more information about prevention programs and how to be part of the solution, consider attending our events and workshops throughout the year! 

You can contact VPVA at any time to speak with someone about your concerns and experiences. You can also email or call at (856) 225-2326. Don't hesitate to call 911, or ask someone else to call, if you are concerence for someone's safety.