The College of New Jersey

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     

Bystander Intervention Tips

There are many prevention methods that students, staff and faculty can utilize to address concerns of sexual violence and relationship violence. One of the most widely used and publicized strategies of intervening is called “bystander intervention”. Bystander intervention is a primary prevention tool that allows for something to be prevented before it has the possibility of happening. An active bystander is someone who finds a way to safely intervene to stop a potentially dangerous situation. For example, asking a friend who is very intoxicated if you can walk them home as they are going upstairs with someone that met that night at a party.

The Three D’s of Bystander Intervention

Intervening isn’t always easy, and we encourage everyone to keep their personal safety a priority when evaluating a situation that could benefit from intervention. At The College, we employ three different intervention strategies that can be tailored to specific situations and the comfort level of the active bystander. Students, faculty and staff can intervene in potentially harmful situations using one of the three Ds:

  • Direct: You could be direct, and walk over to the person who slipped something into another person’s drink and say, “I saw what you did. I’m going to call the police.” Or, you could say something directly to the potential victim and let them know what you saw.
  • Distract: One of our other options is to distract one of the people involved in that scenario.You could go up to one of them and say, “Hassan’s here with pizza.” Or, if it’s a friend, you “need them to come to the bathroom with you.”
  • Delegate: Another option is to delegate out some of the responsibility. Sometimes in these situations, we need to call in reinforcements. If you’re feeling you need extra support, call on your friends. Or, in our party scenario, you can let the host know what’s happening. In other situations around campus, you could call your CA.


Additional Intervention Tip Resources

The Office of Anti-Violence Initiatives has many ways to get involved and be part of the culture shift to create awareness around sexual violence issues and to be a positive, active bystander.

For more information on how to get involved with Green Dot:

For more information on how to be a Peer Education Member:

For more information on how to be a Volunteer or Intern:

If you have any questions about bystander intervention, you can contact our Office of Anti-Violence Initiatives whom are confidential at 609-771-2272 or email the Assistant Director, Michelle Lambing, at

If you have any questions about information on this website please contact:

ATTENTION: Due to COVID-19 our staff are working remotely. We are still continuously monitoring incoming reports, processing cases as usual, and providing our services to the community. For questions and concerns, be sure toContact Us