Practice the Three Ds

The 3 Ds of Active Bystandership:

1. DIRECT: Step in and interrupt a harmful situation by pointing out the problem and engaging participants in conversation about better alternatives.

Say things like:

“That’s not funny!”
“What you said [or did] isn’t cool.”
“That type of language [or behavior] isn’t OK.”

“Is this person bothering you?”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”

  • Stand next to someone so they know they are not alone.
  • Look disapprovingly at a person who is harassing someone else.
  • Don’t join in or laugh.
  • Tell someone (either right then or later on) why you thought what they did or said was uncool.
  • If a person is mistreated, tell them it wasn’t okay and you’re sorry it happened.
2. DISTRACT: If you aren’t comfortable calling out the problematic behavior, try interrupting a risky situation by distracting and redirecting the people involved.
  • Ask an unrelated question about a class assignment, a TV show or even the weather. The goal is simply to change the subject!
  • Tell them you think someone is looking for them.
  • Ask them to show you where the bathroom is.
  • Say something positive (like, “Hey, nice shirt!”) to anyone involved.
3. DELEGATE: If you can’t do it alone, involve others.
  • Attract “allies in action.” (Call attention to the situation and get others to help you speak up, prevent or interrupt.)
  • Tell your RA, RD or another staff person right away.
  • Seek out appropriate campus resources.
  • In an emergency, always call 911.