TETON VALLEY SPEAKS UP.
Together we can use our voices to end sexual violence.
WHAT IS TETON VALLEY SPEAKS UP?
FSN's Teton Valley Speaks Up campaign is an effort to inspire the Teton Valley community to engage in active bystandership when witnessing instances of power based violence particularly sexual violence.
While we wholeheartedly understand that violence will not end until we make broad changes that uproot systems of power and control, the reality is that to decrease violence in the present we must work together as a community.
Our campaign hopes to educate folks on how to be active bystanders, so that we can all feel a sense of responsibility and act on that sense to speak up when we see something wrong. However, we know that speaking up isn't always easy. That's why we’ve created this educational guide on active bystandership, so that you can feel prepared next time you are faced with a tricky situation.
WHAT IS ACTIVE BYSTANDERSHIP?
Let's put some formal definitions around what were talking about!
Starting with the basics, a bystander is someone that witnesses an event or incident.
Passive bystanders witness and don't do anything.
People more often than not choose to be passive bystanders for a number of reasons including fear of embarrassment, power dynamics, safety concerns, lack of knowledge on what to do, and more. These barriers and concerns are valid, but importantly can all be overcome with strategies.
Overcoming these barriers to speak up and take action when something is wrong is called active bystandership. Keep reading to learn about how you can be an active bystander.
HOW CAN I BE AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER?
Being an active bystander isn’t always easy, but it is important. Practicing active bystandership can become easier and much more practical once you are equipped with strategies on what to do. While there are lots of different methods, we are going to focus on the "Three D's" of active bystandership.
The three d's are direct, distract, and delegate. Each of these are individual strategies you can choose from when practicing active bystandership.
Direct: Intervention through the direct method is when a person goes directly up to the incident and addresses the specific issue. This can look like asking someone if they are okay and need help, or it can look like explaining to someone that their actions are not okay. Some pro's of this method include that it clearly gets the point across and it can be educational. Some con's include that it may be the least safe of the options, and it would likely take the most confidence and courage to intervene in this way.
Distract: In this method, you are striving to use any form of distraction possible to separate the parties at hand. This can be done in any way that makes sense for the setting. You could pretend you know one party while friends go in and ask the other if they are okay. You could pretend that someone's car is getting towed. Anything you could imagine as a good distraction to get parties separated can work. Pro's to this method include that it is pretty effective and allows you to easily get over some of the psychological barriers to intervention. For example, if you're worried about being wrong, then this method won't reveal what you were thinking. Con's to this method include that it doesn't have an educational component to it.
Delegate: Using this method looks like action through using the help of others. This might look like calling the police or asking a loud non-shy friend to intervene. Pro's to this method include that it is likely the safest method. Con's include that it may take the longest.