Stand Up, Don’t Stand By


Stand Up, Don’t Stand By provides students with bystander intervention techniques to counter incidents that often precipitate sexual violence. The campaign features four portraits of people who took action in situations they felt were uncomfortable or unsafe.

While many rapes happen behind closed doors, the events leading up to an assault often occur when there are others present. We’ve all seen examples. That one guy who gets in people’s personal space and doesn’t back down, someone who feeds another person multiple drinks while having few themselves, another who won’t take a hint that their attention is not wanted. It can be difficult to know what to say or do in those situations. Bystanders often have the idea that they have to get in the middle of two people to intervene.  While intervention can be direct, there are plenty of indirect ways that people can intervene too! Stand Up, Don’t Stand By describes typical scenarios students may face and offers suggestions for intervening safely.

Some examples of interventions are:

* Clarification Did you really say that?

* Bring It Home Would you want someone talking to your sister like that?

* We're Friends, right? You gotta watch what you say. If you say stuff like that in class or at work, you could get into some real trouble.

* Group Intervention  Am I the only one that thought that was inappropriate? 

* Distraction: mainly used as an interruption. Don’t I know you from Intro to Anthropology?

* Humor Jokes can be used to distract and deflect, however they can hurt more so use with caution.

* Strike when the iron is cold Hey, I've been thinking about what you said last night. It really bothered me.

* Support the Victim: This can be direct or indirect. In the moment, you could walk over and ask “Is everything all right over here?”

* Enlist Support- if you need help, support or are worried about your safety… Call the police or provide a statement. Get the targeted person’s friends involved and have them intervene with the target while you distract the perpetrator. Get your group of guys to interrupt/intervene, giving her a chance to leave.

Find an intervention style that works for you. Try a few! Whatever your style, don’t choose silence. Do something. Don’t stand by – STAND UP!

If you would like more information about sexual assault or you have experienced any unwanted sexual activity, please contact the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) for free and confidential support at or our 24-hour crisis line 319-335-6000.

For more information about bystander intervention techniques and strategies, you can contact RVAP at 319-335-6001 or the Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) at 319-335-1486.