Support Someone

What can I do if I’ve witnessed an incident of harassment, bullying or sexual misconduct?

Bystanders, the largest group involved in violence, who greatly outnumber both perpetrators and survivors have the power to stop abuse and to get help for someone who is being subject to harassment. Active bystanders are people who are aware of an abusive situation, and choose to speak up and say or do something without putting their own safety at risk.

An active bystander assesses a situation to determine what kind of help, if any might be appropriate. They evaluate their options and choose a strategy for responding.

Of course, you should not choose a course of action that puts you or anyone else at risk of harm. Know your own limits and “comfort zone”, and use your common sense. You can use our guidance to identify resources available on campus for yourself or to refer people appropriately.

You might want to:

What can I do to support a friend who had told me that they have experienced sexual violence?

It can be hard to see someone you care about in distress, in difficulty or hurt. It can be stressful for you too and have an impact on your relationship.

If the perpetrator is one of your friendship group or someone you know, this can make things more complicated.

Whether the sexual violence is still happening or happened in the past, you can be a vital support to your friend. It is possible to heal from the experience and having a support network, feeling safe, and taking your time all make a big difference.

You can be a good support by:

From Rape Crisis Scotland’s ‘Information for Friends’.