How to Intervene Safely as a Bystander

Mar 13, 2023

How can we act when we witness maltreatment if we don’t know what to do? Right To Be, a non-profit working to build a world free of harassment and filled with humanity, offers interactive training to equip people with easy-to-use tools for confronting implicit bias, responding to and intervening in incidents of harassment or maltreatment. They have developed a clear, adaptable, and expert-approved set of tools to empower individuals to take action: Right To Be’s 5Ds of bystander intervention.

Right To Be’s 5Ds of bystander intervention:

  1. Distract – Take an indirect approach to de-escalate the situation
  2. Delegate – Get help from someone else
  3. Document – Write down what happened, or record the incident on video where appropriate
  4. Delay – After the incident, check in with the person who may have been harmed
  5. Direct – When safe, speak up. Be firm and clear.

Bystander intervention training gives us tools to intervene without compromising our own safety – your own safety always comes first.  When we intervene, we don’t just reduce trauma for the person being harassed, we also start to chip away at the culture that allows harassment to exist.  Alone we can’t shift the culture — but together — our actions matter.

You can actively and visibly take a stand against inappropriate behaviour, and demonstrate to the people around you that they too have the power to make our sports and communities safer.

Click here for free training, videos about the 5Ds, social media images, and more resources.