Action Matters. What will you do?

Developing Skills to Intervene

You can find intervention skills throughout the UMatter website. When you know how to intervene safely and comfortably, you will be more likely to intervene on behalf of others.  

While we are all living through the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is more important than ever to know how to intervene when we see something that might impact the health of our community. Consider using these skills to intervene if you see someone who isn’t following public health guidance

Try these tips to ensure you stay safe:

  • Recruit friends to help
  • Approach others in a friendly manner
  • Avoid using violence
  • Call 911 or Public Safety for help if violence or harm seems unavoidable

Once your safety is assured, you can focus on keeping a friend, acquaintance, or stranger safe, too. Taking action on one another’s behalf is how we create a vibrant, healthy, and engaged community. When you intervene effectively, the rewards are significant – for you and for our campus.

Try these suggestions to intervene effectively:

  • Trust your gut! If the behavior worries you, someone probably needs you to intervene.
  • Get creative with your interventions! It does not have to work perfectly every time, but the important thing is that you DO SOMETHING, however silly or unplanned.
  • Improve your skills and learn more about bystander intervention by submitting a request for our Bystander Intervention related programs. You can be ready to act when the need arises.

Remember the “3 D’s”:

Distract: Create a distraction or redirect a person’s attention.
  • Redirect the focus of those involved to let the situation cool down.
  • Use humor or an excuse, if it’s appropriate, to divert the attention of the person(s) engaging in the problematic behavior.
Direct: Confront the harmful behavior directly.
  • Step-in to separate the individuals and use assertive language.
  • Use an assertive communication style to call out the problem and stand your ground, without resorting to aggression.
  • Consider when it is more effective to address a situation by "calling out" problematic behavior and when it might be better to use "calling in". 
Delegate: Seek assistance from others.
  • Ask others to get involved to help take charge of the situation (e.g. a friend, supervisor, bouncer, police officer).
  • Familiarize yourself with the full range of resources available to you in an emergency and during business hours.