How to be an Active Bystander

Being a member of the University at Albany community involves respecting our community standards and holding each other accountable as active bystanders when these standards are being violated. An important part of this is learning to recognize the warning signs of potentially dangerous situations involving sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking in order to intervene safely.

Bystander Intervention Steps

Notice the situation: Be aware of what is going on around you

Interpret it as a problem: Listen to your inner alarm

Feel responsible to act: You are part of the solution

Know how to intervene: Educate yourself on what you would do

Intervene safely: Take action in a way that feel safe for you


Methods of Intervention

Most people who choose not to intervene do so not because they don’t think violence is wrong, but because they don’t know HOW to intervene. Choose an intervention method that you feel comfortable with depending on the situation.


Ask person if she/he is okay.
Tell a person that what she/he is doing isn’t cool.


Tell someone else (student, faculty, staff, police)
Recruit the help of friends


Ask the person is she/he wants to leave
Diffuse and redirect the situation



  • Have a plan
  • Check in with your friends
  • Know the warning signs
  • Know what kind of bystander you are
  • Watch out for others
  • Trust your instincts