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Most Miners STEP UP!
STEP UP! is founded on the principles that most problems happen in group settings, most people will be a situation in which they can help in the future, and peers are usually in the best position to help. STEP UP! is a two-hour training session. The first hour teaches participants the five steps to intervention, as well as different styles of intervention. The second hour allows the participants to apply the skills they have just learned by practicing intervening in a variety of problematic scenarios.
Bystander Effect is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.
The barriers listed help explain why the bystander effect occurs. In other words, these are the phenomenon that one must be aware of so that they can be overcome.
A friend pushes and then slaps his girlfriend at a party. Other people see it and are upset but don’t do anything. He’s not a very close friend, but someone you’ve taken several courses with and have had cordial discussions. What do you do?
- If someone you know is being cyberstalked, tell them.
- If the violence gets physical, call 911 right away!
- Encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to seek professional help.
- Do not touch the individuals no matter how well you may know them.
- Be aware of your tone of voice and volume. Stay calm.
- Be respectful of both individuals and their viewpoints.
You are hanging out with teammates and one of them makes a very insulting and derogatory remark about someone’s alleged sexual orientation. They go on to sarcastically say that they definitely won’t be rooming with them on road trips.
You find it inappropriate. What do you do?
- Be Ready – You know at some point you will hear or see something that is inappropriate or discriminatory. Think of yourself as the one to Step UP!, prepare yourself for it and know what you will say. “Why do you say that?” or “Do you really mean what you just said?”
- Identify the Behavior – Point out someone’s behavior to help them hear what they are really saying. “So, what I hear you saying is that all student-athletes don’t care about academics?”
- Appeal to Principles – Call on a person’s higher principles. “I’ve always thought you were fair-minded. It shocks me to hear you say something so biased.”
- Set Limits: Draw a Line – You can’t control others but you can make others aware of what you will not tolerate. “Don’t tell racist jokes or use that language in my presence anymore. If you do, I will leave.” Follow through.
- Find an Ally/Be an Ally – Seek out like-minded people and build strength in numbers.
Bystander Intervention Strategies
In a situation that involves more than one person, you can distract one or both people involved. In a fight, this can allow people to cool off, and in cases of sexual violence, it can create an opportunity for the potential victim to get away. Distraction can also be useful for talking to friends with mental health concerns, in addition to encouraging them to seek professional help. The goal of distraction is to interrupt the harmful behavior, not necessarily to confront it.
If you need to gather more information from an outside source, or if you feel like you missed an opportunity to intervene, you can also use a delayed response, such as following up and asking if someone is okay after the fact. The important thing is to show you fellow students that you care and are there to support them.
You can be direct when confronting a situation where someone else is being harmed or at risk of being harmed. In the case of witnessing a fight, the direct approach might involve asking the students who were fighting if everything is alright or asking the other students in the room if they are as uncomfortable with the situation as you were.
You can delegate the task by looking for people to back you up when it is time to intervene. Depending on the situation, that could mean asking for help from fellow party goers when you witness a fight or see sexual violence, or letting your RA know that you have a housemate who is depressed or struggling with eating concerns. Delegating is great because it can create a shared sense of responsibility among community members.