Stand up, don't stand by.
Sexual assault impacts millions of people in the U.S. – 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men. But prevention is possible. While the responsibility for sexual assault lies solely with the perpetrators, we can all play a role in looking out for each other’s safety and creating a safer world.
I didn’t know who she was. I could just tell she was uncomfortable and needed help getting out of a bad situation so I went up to her and pretended I knew her and hadn't seen her in years. She went with it and actually ended up joining our group for the rest of the night—
we even shared a ride home together.”
Trust your gut
“It’s probably nothing” is usually something. If you think someone looks uncomfortable, too intoxicated, or may be crossing the line, or if a situation just doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. One way to decide is to ask yourself, “If nobody acts, could the situation get worse?” If YES, then you should evaluate the best way to safely intervene and interrupt the situation.
If you’re close enough to feel someone’s discomfort, you’re close enough to offer help. But you don’t have to do it alone. Enlisting allies — like another friend, bar staff, a security guard — can be much more productive and safer than trying to go it alone. If you see someone acting violent or aggressive, notify security or call 911.
Stepping in can mean different things in different situations:
If you see someone who looks like they’re uncomfortable or too intoxicated, ask a friend to create a distraction while you check in the person you’re concerned about.
If your friend has had one too many and won’t take no for an answer, sometimes “three’s a crowd” can be a good thing. Step in to remove your friend from the situation and order a ride so you can go home together. Be sure to talk to your friend the next day and let them know why their behavior was concerning and potentially dangerous.
If you see someone who looks like they’re uncomfortable or too intoxicated, check in directly with them. Ask if they need anything or help them find their own friends so they can go home safely together.
Either way, you don’t have to be a hero, you just have to be a friend. You can always Enlist Allies to help you safely intervene.
End the night the same way you started it: together. Think about making a plan with your friends in advance to leave the bar or club with a buddy or as a group. Or, if a friend has had a few too many, be a stand up friend — find the rest of your crew and head out together.
Check Your Ride
From the club door to the car door to the front door, friends look out for each other. When you request a ride, complete these three safety pickup steps to make sure you’re getting into the right car with the right driver:
Step 1: Match the license plate number
Step 2: Match the car make and model
Step 3: Check the driver’s photo