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Bystander Intervention

What is a bystander?

A bystander is a person who is present when an event takes place but isn’t directly involved. Bystanders might be present when sexual assault or abuse occurs, or they could witness the circumstances that lead up to these crimes.

What is bystander intervention?

Bystander Intervention is recognizing a potentially harmful situation or interaction and choosing to respond in a way that could positively influence the outcome.

The bystander role includes interrupting situations that could lead to assault before it happens or during an incident; speaking out against social norms that support sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; and developing skills to be an effective and supportive ally to survivors.

This will look different depending on the situation and how you’re comfortable taking action: whether directly intervening, creating a distraction, or finding someone who has more authority to act in the situation.

Your actions matter

Whether or not you were able to change the outcome, by stepping in you are helping to change the way people think about their role in preventing sexual assault.

Reducing the risk of sexual assault

It’s important to make a plan and take steps to prevent crimes from occurring, including sexual violence. No tips can absolutely guarantee safety—sexual violence can happen to anyone, and it’s not the only crime that can occur on a college campus. It’s important to remember that if you are sexually assaulted on campus it is not your fault—help and support are available. These tips are adapted from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), Staying Safe on Campus.

Increasing on-campus safety

Safety in social settings

It’s possible to relax and have a good time while still making safety a priority. Consider these tips for staying safe and looking out for your friends in social settings.


Contact Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX /EEO Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator can address faculty, staff and student concerns related to sexual harassment, sexual assault and other actions that fall within the college' obligations under Title IX. In addition, contact any Taskforce Member.

Title IX / EEO Coordinator, Vice President of Foundation, HR & Legal Affairs

  Kendra Sprague
  Administration Building Room 115
  (360) 442-2121
  title9@lowercolumbia.edu

Title IX / EEO Deputy Coordinator, Vice President of Student Services

  Sue Orchard
  Admissions Center Room 159
  (360) 442-2301
  title9@lowercolumbia.edu

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