Bystander intervention is considered a promising practice for preventing sexual violence on college campuses. UNC-CH first implemented bystander intervention in fall 2010 with our first One Act training, and have been growing the program since then, training over 2130+ students in One Act or One Act for Greeks since its inception.
Because of our commitment to implementing programs using the best available evidence possible, Student Wellness staff collect data about the effectiveness of One Act bystander intervention to make sure that what we’re doing is working! We’re delighted to share that data from the first two years of the program that we’ve previously shared here on the blog was published in the May 2015 issue of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
So what else have we learned?
About one quarter of students attending One Act trainings (excludes One Act for Greeks*) in 2012-2015 identify that they have experienced sexual violence, interpersonal violence, or stalking in their lifetime.
On average, 85% of One Act participants (excludes One Act for Greeks) in 2012-2015 know someone who has experienced sexual violence, interpersonal violence, or stalking.
100% of participants in both One Act and One Act for Greeks during the 2014-2015 academic year who completed our 1 – week post-test said that they are likely or very likely to intervene if a friend says that forcing someone to have sex is okay.
*due to time limits, anonymous clickers are not used in One Act for Greeks
Before Halloween (like, TODAY!) talk with your friends about getting to and from Halloween parties and events how you will get around and how you will get home, and how you will keep tabs on each other throughout the night so no one gets left behind.
Account for all people in your group of friends when you go out and when you head home. Staying with friends throughout the night will help ensure that everyone is safe and having a good time!
Offer to watch your friends’ drinks (alcoholic or not) when they leave the table.
Make it a night to remember:
Consider the weather when you are designing your costume – be sure to dress warmly and remind your friends as well!
Activities like pre-gaming raise BAC (blood alcohol content, a measure of the amount of alcohol in your body) and make it more likely for a person to pass out or black out. Talk to your friends about risk reduction strategies if they are planning to drink. Some common strategies among UNC students are: eating before drinking, avoiding shots, alternating alcoholic drinks with water, setting a pacing limit (e.g. 1 drink per hour), or an overall drink limit for the night. For more ideas, check out this blog post.
If you see potentially violent (physical or sexual) situation, call 911 for help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, find one of the many uniformed police officers that will be on hand for the event. Their main goal is to keep everyone safe. If you can’t find someone in person, call 911.
Keep in mind NC’s new Good Samaritan Law: If you seek medical help on behalf of someone with alcohol poisoning, you will be exempt from certain underage alcohol possession charges. In other words, they cannot ticket you with underage possession or consumption of alcohol if you are you seeking medical attention on behalf of someone who may have alcohol poisoning.
If you don’t feel comfortable contacting police, look for volunteers from Student Affairs. They’ll be walking around in pairs to assist students in need of support. They can connect you to emergency or support services.
When things don’t go as planned, contact other resources that night or the next day for support for yourself or your friends.