DID YOU KNOW? Understanding Bystander Intervention

DID YOU KNOW Understanding Bystander Intervention

Would you know what to do if you witnessed an inappropriate comment or behavior from an adult or older youth toward a child? It’s important to know how to enforce boundaries and protect the children in your life.

As a bystander who observes boundary violations, you should begin by describing the behavior. (“It looks like you’re forcing Chloe to kiss and hug. She looks uncomfortable.”) Next, set a limit for the behavior. (“Please stop. We let Chloe decide who she wants to show affection to.”) Then move the child away from the vulnerable situation. (“Chloe, let’s go see what the other kids are up to.”) If you are a “bystander” who witnesses a boundary violation, or sees a situation in which a child is vulnerable, it’s not important to know the intentions of the person who crossed the boundary. What is important is that you reinforce the boundary – even if you are in front of others, or in a public setting.

Step 5 of Darkness to Light’s 5 Steps to Protecting Our Children™ is React Responsibly. Learn more about bystander intervention and what you can do to protect the children in your life at D2L.org/ReactResponsibly.

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