Who Are You? – Bystander Intervention.

So this post has been a while coming. I find that articulating such topics and issues well can sometimes be problematic. But I hope my relatively brief post below will do it justice. The video however, does say it all.

The question is simple, “Who are You in the Lives of others?” . Yale recently organized a series of sessions with sophomores on what bystander interventions are all about and how we could go about them. To tell you the truth, the name “bystander intervention”  itself was seemingly contradictory to me in the first place. The word “bystander” often connotes a placid individual far removed from the actions of another. But this is where we begin to get it all wrong. Someone is only dubbed a “bystander” relative to an action, event or individual right? So int hat vein, the meaning of the word itself is mutually dependent on the “partaker of the action”. And here is where the twist in psychology starts. When we beginning to think of the meaning of the word “bystander” as dependent on the actions/events of another individual, we begin to see that literally “no man is an island” – our existence is mutually dependent on each other too.

This video basically shows us how to intervene and stop sexual assault from happening when it doesn’t have to. Here I define sexual assault as any abusive sexual act that does not have the permission or consent by the other party. I am no professional in this field but according to RAINN  (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), in America alone, every 2 minutes someone in the US is being sexually assaulted. 44% of victims are under age 18. 80% are under age 30.

These are numbers that may or may not mean anything to you. Sometimes our brains find it difficult to translate the significance of figures. But think about it, statistics only begin to carry their power when all of a sudden you find yourself, or people you know a part of that statistic. This shouldn’t be the case. The real question is who are you in all this? What can we do to stop this?

Other questions worth our interest is: These scenarios and situations are not only limited to the  US and Europe. What about in Africa, Asia, Australia  and Latin America? How might the context be different and how do we intervene? Why should we intervene? What are the implications of non-intervention/intervention?

Again, Who are You? We really can make a difference in this world if we want to. We have to make up our minds to want to.

Source of Statistics: RAINN



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