What should I do if I witness sexual harassment, abuse or violence?
If you are in a situation where you are witnessing sexual abuse, there are things you can do to support the victim, if is it safe to do so. It is important to assess whether intervening could cause yourself or the victim harm or trauma but it can also be a powerful show of support.
What should I do if I hear someone make a joke about rape? If it’s safe to do so, approach the speaker with gentle curiosity, encouraging them to think about their words in a different way. For instance, asking them to explain what they meant by it or whether they would still make the joke if they knew someone who had experienced rape was within earshot?
What if I’m out and I see someone grope someone else? If you’re able to, approach the victim and check if they’re okay. You could pretend to know them to deter the perpetrator. You could explain that you saw what happened and if you’re in a public venue you could offer to tell the manager or stay with them whilst they leave the venue or until the other person has left.
What should I do if I see someone being assaulted or attacked? As with any other type of violent crime, if someone witnesses a physical assault, they should call the police.
If you see someone being catcalled and harassed in the street or continually receiving unwanted advances? You don’t want to do anything to exacerbate the situation but you could, for example, offer to wait with someone at the bus stop, call them a cab, or call the police. Providing affirmation that it’s not okay and you’re on the victim’s side is a powerful way to support them and help them to recover.