In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, you’ve come forward to tell us about how the rise in harassment and violence in the U.S. is impacting you on MomentofTruth2016.tumblr.com. And yet we have also heard from you a desire to rise up, speak out, and intervene when you see harassment happening.
That’s why we’re hosting two bystander intervention webinars led by Executive Director, Emily May and Deputy Director, Debjani Roy. These digital training sessions will take place on Tuesday, December 6th from 8-9pm EST, Friday, December 9th from 1-2pm EST and Tuesday, December 13th from 8-9pm EST. You can sign up for your preferred time by following this link.
Our research shows that as little as a knowing glance can reduce trauma in the face of harassment, but the wrong response can actually increase trauma. With so many eager to step up, we need everyone to be equipped with the right information on how to be an effective bystander in the midst of violence enacted within our communities. With ten years of this work already under our belt, we at Hollaback! are poised to arm you with the tools you need to respond to harassment and protect the rights of everyone.
In the meantime, check out our 4 D’s of bystander intervention – Direct, Distract, Delegate, and Delay – and put them into action the next time you witness harassment.
Direct Intervention: When you see someone being targeted, you can confront the harasser and let them know that what they are doing is wrong. This can be risky and is not always the safest method. The harassment may be redirected at you, so do not feel compelled to employ this method if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Distract: This is an indirect intervention. If you witness harassment, go up to the target and ask for the time or for directions, pretending you’re lost. There are many ways to create a distraction in a situation like this that will help de-escalate the potential for further harassment or violence.
Delegate: Depending where you are when you witness harassment, you can ask for a third party to help. It can be a transit employee, a teacher, a manager, or anyone else around.
Delay: If you see someone targeted with verbal harassment or non-verbal gestures such as leering/staring someone down, ask them afterward if they are okay. It’s powerful. People may notice these forms of harassment but may not feel like they are able to do anything in the moment. Asking the person being targeted if they are okay after the harassment occurs helps them feel less alone and can reduce trauma. In this climate, this is needed more than ever.
The movement to end harassment and discrimination in public space has unprecedented momentum right now, and we need the support of people like you to step up, get trained, and take bold, everyday actions to protect your neighbors and remind them there are people out there who have their back.
If you’re ready to step up, please join us.