Active Bystander Training: A Guide

In a world where harassment and abuse are all too common, it's important for individuals to take action and be proactive bystanders. Active bystander training provides individuals with the skills and knowledge to recognise harmful behaviours and intervene in a safe and effective manner.

In this guide, we’ll explore what it means to be a bystander, how to be an active bystander, the benefits of bystander training, how to find opportunities for training, and tips for implementing the training. So, read on to find out more.

What is a Bystander?

A bystander is an individual who witnesses an event or behaviour but does not directly participate. Bystanders can be present in a variety of settings, such as in public spaces, at school, or in the workplace. In situations where harm or abuse is occurring, bystanders have the power to intervene and potentially prevent harm from continuing.

How to Be an Active Bystander

Being an active bystander involves taking action when witnessing harmful behaviour. Here are some tips for being an active bystander:

  • Assess the situation: Before intervening, take a moment to assess the situation and determine if it's safe to intervene.
  • Speak up: Use your voice to address the situation. This could involve speaking directly to the person engaging in the harmful behaviour or speaking up to those around you.
  • Seek help: If the situation is too dangerous to handle on your own, seek help from others nearby or call emergency services.
  • Support the victim: Provide support to the victim by checking in on them and offering assistance.

Benefits of Active Bystander Training

Bystander training provides a variety of benefits, including student empowerment, increased awareness, and safer communities.

Student Empowerment

Bystander training empowers students to take action and intervene in situations where harm or abuse is occurring. This can help create a culture of safety and support in schools and on campuses.

Increased Awareness

It increases awareness of harmful behaviours and how to intervene in a safe and effective manner. This can lead to a reduction in incidents of harassment and abuse, as well as an increase in bystander intervention.

Safer Communities

Proper training can help create safer communities by encouraging individuals to take action in harmful situations. This can help prevent harm and reduce the likelihood of future incidents.

Finding Active Bystander Training Opportunities

There are a variety of organisations, such as ourselves at ICENA, and programs that offer bystander training. Some places to look for training opportunities include:

  • Schools and universities
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Community centres
  • Local government agencies

Tips for Implementing Active Bystander Training

Implementing active bystander training can be a powerful tool for creating safer communities. Here are some tips for implementing it:

Identify Common Types of Harassment and Abuse

Bystander training should include an overview of the common types of harassment and abuse that individuals may encounter. This can help individuals recognise negative behaviours and intervene appropriately.

Outline the Different Roles and Responsibilities of an Active Bystander

It should also outline the different roles and responsibilities of an active bystander, helping individuals to understand their role in creating a safer community and how to intervene in a safe and effective manner.

Practice Different Scenarios with Real-World Examples

Bystander training should include opportunities to practise intervening in different scenarios. This can help individuals feel more confident in their ability to act as an active bystander.

Provide Ongoing Support to Participants

Finally, it's important to provide ongoing support to participants after completing bystander training. This can include follow-up sessions, resources, and opportunities to practise their skills.

At ICENA, we have a library of resources to help individuals become an active bystander. We can provide the necessary guidance, support and education to empower individuals to take action when they witness harmful behaviour. Contact us today to learn more about our bystander training course.

We hope that this article has been helpful in understanding the importance of being an active bystander and how it can create safer communities. Remember: by intervening in situations where harm or abuse is occurring, we can all make a difference in creating a healthier environment for everyone.