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Take Action

Direct Action

An evident or active tactic to intervening that necessitates direct articulation or expression of concern with the situation.

Indirect Action

Also known as a 'detour' approach involving less visible forms of intervening.

Obstacles to Intervene

Diffusion of Responsibility

Tendency to discount personal responsibility because others are involved. The more people knowledgeable of the situation the less one feels the responsibility to take action.

Displacement of responsibility

Tendency to avoid accountability for taking action.

Pluralistic ignorance

When someone thinks everyone else accepts a norm and goes along with it.

Fear of retaliation

Being afraid of negative consequences for intervening.

Fear of embarrassment

Showing concern for bringing negative attention to oneself or others.

Motivations to Intervene

Beaks Up Speak Up incorporates existing evidence of what motivates bystanders to effectively intervene. Group cohesiveness, identification with the individual being targeted, previous interactions between the person and the observers, and high feelings of witness competence all have been found to significantly increase helping behaviors.

Now that we know the obstacles that prevent individuals from intervening, it's important to discuss ways that people can reduce these barriers so that individuals will overcome them and respond in positive way. This can be done by discussing reasons people should act when they recognize potential harmful situations.

Reasons to Intervene

"I know it's wrong and I know others think the same thing"

"I care about the individual being impacted"

"I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't do anything."

"I'll feel better knowing I did something"