Someone I know is being hurt

When someone is being hurt, the people around them have a lot of power to help. Whether it’s a family member, a friend at work, a classmate, or someone we know from somewhere else, we all have the power to decrease the violence that occurs in the world around us. Here are some quick tools any bystander can use to take action and let the people around them know that power-based personal violence isn’t okay and that we all have a role to play in keeping each other safe. 

If you see a situation that feels like it is already violent or could lead to violence, you could try one of these actions:

Direct: You directly get involved by telling the person who is hurting someone else to stop or by checking in with the person being hurt. Examples may include:

  • “They shouldn’t be talking to you that way. Do you want to come sit with me?”
  • “Hey, we don’t treat people that way.”
  • “I am not trying to be nosy, but I heard the way your partner is treating you. Do you want some help finding a place you can call for help?”

Delegate: You get someone else who may be better equipped to intervene. This could be someone who knows the people involved better, someone who is more outgoing than you, or someone who is in a position of authority. This also could happen in person or digitally. Examples may include:

  • Telling your pastor they may want to check in with a couple at your church because there seems to be some friction.
  • Reporting posts on social media that are intended to demean or humiliate another person
  • Telling a store employee “hey, there’s a couple fighting in aisle 8, and it looks like it might turn physical. You should probably go check.

Distract: You cause a distraction in order to help break the tension of a situation, interrupt it, or pull attention away from it. Examples may include:

  • Spilling a drink
  • Tripping into the situation
  • Asking for directions
  • Asking for a phone charger
  • Starting a conversation about something unrelated
  • Honking your car horn 

Even if you’ve never seen a violent situation firsthand, there are still lots of options to let people know that violence is something you will not tolerate:

  • Follow @greendotgcky and @theioncenter online. Like and share the posts that are most meaningful and compelling to you.
  • Start conversations with people you know about why these issues are important and the ways we can all take action. 
  • If you see a story in the news or on social media about an active bystander, share it.
  • Support and encourage others you see intervening or showing support for the Ion Center and Green Dot.
  • Volunteer with us, and tell others to join you!

Learn more about how the Ion Center helps.

Do you need help? Contact us. We’re here when you need us.

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