Empowered Bystander

Spartans for Safety - Empowered Bystander

Male Asian student holding sign: I pledge to be an empowered bystander by: Putting an end to violence


Knowing the difference between a bystander and an empowered bystander can equip us to take action for a safer Spartan community.


A person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part.

Empowered Bystander

Someone who witnesses potentially harmful behavior and takes action that has the potential to lead to a positive outcome.

Approach Tools

Proactive: Stepping in / Directly intervene
Partner: Getting someone else involved
Divert: Distraction/Alleviate situation

The 5 Decision Making Steps

  1. Notice the Event
    PAY ATTENTION to what is going on around you.
  2. Interpret the Event as a Problem/Emergency
    Is it a problem? Is it not?
  3. Assume Personal Responsibility
    Research shows that if you are alone you will help 80% of the time but if you are in a group you will help only 20% of the time because of diffusion of responsibility – you think someone else will do something. But if not you, then who? Do not assume someone else will do something!
  4. Know How To Help
    Many times people WANT to help but they either don’t know what to do (knowledge) in a particular situation or how to do it (skills). Help can be direct or indirect. 
    NEVER put yourself in harm’s way but again, DO SOMETHING! Be prepared – think about what you would do so when and if that situation arises. Know your resources, call UPD and inform them about suspicious activity.
  5. Step Up
    We want to Step Up so we can implement help. It is important to Step Up because we as a community should look out for one another.

See something. Say something.

Take the Pledge!