Frequently Asked Questions for Bystanders

Bystander intervention is a strategy for prevention where an individual recognizes a potentially harmful situation/behavior and responds in a way that could positively impact the outcome. It is often used in situations involving bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.

The goal of bystander intervention is to create a safer community and prevent violence.

Bystanders are individuals who are aware of their surroundings and make the decision to intervene when necessary. You can develop your bystander intervention skills by using these steps:

  1. Create a habit of noticing your surroundings

  2. Evaluate the situation to assess if there is the potential for harm.

  3. If you determine that something is unsafe for people involved, assume personal responsibility and intervene. 

As a bystander, you should be aware of your surroundings and notice situations that have the potential to result in sexual misconduct/violence.

A bystander should intervene before a situation/behavior escalates.

You should take notice of individuals who are behaving in “inappropriate” ways, using coercion, or engaging in harassing behavior. You should also be aware of people who are making offensive or hurtful jokes or comments and/or behaving in jealous or aggressive manners.

A bystander should also take action in situations where behaviors are escalating or there is danger.

If you notice a situation and want to intervene, you can consider using one (or a combination of) these techniques:

  1. Distraction – Create a distraction to change the situation/focus. You might consider making a joke or saying a funny comment to take the attention away from the individual.  This will give people who are feeling uncomfortable, the opportunity to leave.

  2. Direct – You can be direct and call out the harmful behavior or ask a targeted individual if they are ok or need help.  This approach will hopefully stop the behavior and allow the impacted individual to leave.

  3. Delegate – Ask others for help.  This can involve asking friends to assist or calling law enforcement personnel.


Please contact the Title IX Coordinator  and request a Falcon Safe Training.

Falcon Safe is a fifty (50) minute presentation. The training covers policy, bystander intervention techniques, and support services.

Falcon Safe is the Cerritos College Bystander Intervention training. It is a fifty (50) minute presentation on policy, bystander intervention techniques, and resources. It is facilitated by the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Victim’s Advocate, Cerritos College Police Chief, and Associate Dean of Student Health and Wellness.