StepIn Bystander Intervention

StepIn to stop sexual assault.

StepIn is a bystander intervention program offered by ICESAHT.

We all can use our voices to change damaging social norms perpetuating rape culture and sexual violence. An important step is becoming an effective bystander. Simply put, bystander intervention recognizes potentially harmful situations and responds in a way that can change the potential outcome.

Logo for StepIn to stop think engage and prevent Sexual assault

Stop. Think. Engage. Prevent. Indiana

  • We have been socialized to “stay out of other people’s business.” Yet, in a culture where so many are at risk for sexual violence, we all need to take responsibility to recognize problematic situations and help. STOP and assess the situation.
  • Once you have observed a potentially harmful situation, THINK about the most appropriate, safest way to intervene. Your safety and the safety of the potential victim are the priorities.
  • Distract by diffusing the situation by starting a casual conversation, or doing something like spilling a drink or asking to borrow a phone. The goal is to prevent the situation from getting worse or to buy time to check in with the potential victim to see if they need help.
  • Direct by directly asking the potential victim if they are okay, needs help, or needs someone to stay with them.
  • Delegate by enlisting an ally to help diffuse the situation or look for someone else to get involved, like a bouncer, an RA, a friend or call the authorities.
  • Being an active bystander not only helps the potential victim, you will become a community role model be showing people that you will not tolerate sexual violence. Your actions will empower others to StepIn.
  • The only person responsible for preventing sexual violence is the perpetrator, but we all can play an important role in protecting each other and keeping our communities safe.

Please note, this is a summary of the curriculum. We strongly encourage you to consider participating in a StepIn training. For information, email

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