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Bystander Behavior

Bystander behavior is a common occurrence and is the lack of actions taken by those observing an unjust event. If a sex crime or any kind of sexual harassment is occurring, an individual has the responsibility to take action if possible. They are typically viewed as in the wrong if they have the opportunity to save the life of another person without endangering themselves. However, the average citizen is often not required by law to assist in an emergency.

Bystanders are not directly involved but play a huge part in the prevalence of rape culture. Staying silent allows rape culture to thrive. According to studies, males who hold prejudiced attitudes, or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol witnesses are less likely to proactively assist a woman who appears unable to consent to sexual activity. When one person takes a stand, it encourages others.

To combat the "Bystander Mindset", try to imagine yourself in the victim's shoes. It can be scary to stand up but it can also be critical to the victim's life and well-being. Think more about the example you are setting for future generations and less about the consequences of your actions. Intervening can be something as simple as yelling "Stop" or calling the police. You do not have to jeopardize yourself to help.

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