51 Bystander Intervention If a bystander limits their intervention to a serious event, like a sexual assault, we have missed multiple opportunities along the way to say or do something before that situation escalates to that level. What is a Bystander A bystander can be anyone: a friend, a teacher, a neighbor, a parent or even a stranger. Bystanders can play an important role in preventing or stopping sexual violence. The key is that when you see inappropriate sexual conduct that you do something. Steps Toward Taking Action as a Bystander Notice the events along a continuum of actions. Consider whether the situation demands your action. Decide if you have a responsibility to act. Choose what form of assistance to use. Understand how to implement the choice safely. Note: it is important to consider the consequences and your own safety. If there is immediate danger, call 911. Forms of Bystander Action Intervene to Stop the Behavior as it is Occurring Ask the victim: "Do you need help?" "Is everything ok?" "Are you all right?" "Do you want me to call someone for you?" "What can I do to help you?" "Do you want me to talk to so-and-so for you?" "Should I call the police?" Speak to the offender: "What you said earlier really bothered me." "I don’t like what you did." "I wonder if you realize how that comes across." "How would you feel if someone did that to your sister/brother/child?" Encourage the Victim to Seek Help from Family, Professionals or Law Enforcement Examples of what to say: "You might want to talk to the police about his/her behavior for your own safety." "I know a counselor you can talk to about this." "Do your parents know how he/she is treating you?" "Here is the number you can call for help." Report the Incident Yourself Call the police and report the incident. Report it to a supervisor or an administrator. Report it to a counselor or faculty member. TMCC encourages victims to preserve all physical evidence. If the incident of sexual violence happened within 72 hours, you may choose to have an evidentiary exam in order to collect evidence of the assault. To preserve evidence, you should not change clothes, bathe or shower, brush your teeth or use mouthwash, comb your hair, or take other action to clean up before going to the hospital. If you feel you may have been administered drugs to facilitate an assault, it is best to wait to urinate until you reach the hospital and a urine sample can be collected. A victim advocate and a police officer will accompany you to the exam if you consent. The physicians and nurses of the Washoe County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) provide these free exams. For more information about the evidentiary exam process, please contact Sexual Assault Support Services (Crisis Call Center) at 775-785-8090 or 1800-273-8255. How to Obtain Support, Assistance, Resources and Referrals In order to ensure that you are provided with support and assistance, University Police Services contacts the victim advocate as soon as you contact the police. If you do not want to speak to the advocate, you will be provided with written resource describing options and available support services. A victim advocate is available regardless of whether you choose to report the assault to law enforcement. You can contact Sexual Assault Support Services by calling 775-7858090 or 1-800-273-8255.