Be an upstanding bystander!

A bystander is a person present at an event but not participating in it.  Kent State University encourages proactive action such as seeking medical assistance when a student’s health or safety may be in jeopardy including when danger arises due to use of alcohol, other drugs, acts of violence including gender/sexual harassment, vandalism, and behaviors that are intended to harm or demean people and the community.  Being aware of an incident occurring, interpreting the incident as an emergency, taking responsibility to act, attempting to help are all characteristics of being an upstanding bystander. 


  • Pay attention!  Be aware of your surroundings and that of your friends.
  • Keep yourself safe.  Putting yourself in harm's way is not an expectation.
  • When you recognize that something you aren't okay with is happening, choose to do something.  
  • Make intentionally good decisions.
  • Call for help.  Sometimes that means 9-1-1, and sometimes that means the next person you see.  But call for help when you need it!
  • Image is not everything.  Giving in to a group that disagrees with you may mean you want to reconsider that particular group.
  • Do the right thing.  You and your surrounding community will benefit.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.  The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of hits heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."

- Helen Keller


Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS) launched the Green Dot Strategy in 2014.  It is a bystander approach for the prevention of power-based personal violence that relies on the power of cultural and peer influence. The strategy targets everyone in the community as agents of change to visible reduce the number of incidents of violence.  

  • Direct

  • Distract

  • Delegate

Learn more about Green Dot