It’s on all of us to create a safe, supportive, and inclusive IU community. Helping in potentially harmful incidents is part of that responsibility. Be safe, be informed, and learn how to step up and stand up for yourself and others with these general safety tips and strategies for being an active bystander.
Preventing sexual misconduct
Follow these steps when someone appears to be in a vulnerable or potentially harmful situation. Remember, if you see something, say something!
- Notice the event. Pay attention to your surroundings.
- Interpret the event as a problem. Recognize that someone is being taken advantage of, vulnerable, or in danger. When in doubt, trust your gut, and step up to help at the at the earliest possible point.
- Take personal responsibility to help. If you don’t help, it is unlikely that anyone else will.
- Decide how you are going to help. Try not to put yourself at risk or make the situation worse. There are many ways to help in different situations.
- Help! Take action and intervene to help prevent or respond to problematic situations at the earliest possible point.
If you see someone who could be in trouble, take action and intervene if you can, as soon as possible. You can intervene directly by asking the person if they need help, or by removing them from the situation. If you are not able to step up and help, contact the police or seek out others for assistance. You may also be able to interrupt the situation by causing a distraction, like spilling your drink, asking a question, or causing a scene.
General safety tips
We encourage you to protect yourself and others whenever possible, but remember that sexual misconduct, and all forms of sexual violence, are never the fault of the person who experiences it. Following these general safety tips may increase your safety and the safety of others.
Always be aware of your surroundings and of other people in the area. Listen to your intuition. If you feel like something is wrong, it probably is. If you feel threatened, try to get out of the situation. Don’t be afraid to make a scene and yell, scream, or run for protection if you can. If you can’t, try to cause a distraction or ask to use the restroom so you can get away.
Walk with a friend if possible. Be aware of your surroundings and stay in well-lighted areas. If you’re in trouble, scream or attract attention any way you can. If you’re being followed, go to a public place or knock on a door to get help.
When you go out, go with friends and look out for each other. Watch your beverage at all times. Date rape drugs are tasteless, colorless, and odorless so you won’t know if you’ve ingested one.
Don’t be afraid to call police
Under Indiana’s Lifeline Law, people younger than 21 who are under the influence of alcohol will not be prosecuted for crimes such as possession, intoxication or consumption of alcohol if they call 911 for medical help for another person or in cases of sexual assault and cooperate with police.
Find resources on your campus
Choose the appropriate link for safety and prevention resources on your campus.