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Be an Active Bystander

We Act - Be an Active Bystander

The University wants its whole community to work together to help keep everyone at Warwick safe. These activities are aimed at students. Explore opportunities to develop your awareness and understanding of the Active Bystander approach by engaging with our resources.

Current activities:

What is the Active Bystander approach?

The Active Bystander approach sets out four stages of intervention which supports us to feel better able to respond or take action when we witness racism, sexism, discrimination, or other unacceptable behaviour. The four stages of intervention are:

  • Noticing an event or situation
  • Interpreting it as a problem
  • Feeling responsible to help do something
  • Taking action

The golden rule of the Active Bystander approach is to only intervene in a way that is safe to do so, therefore taking action may take a different format, depending on the situation. There are five types of active bystander strategies within the approach. These are:

  • Distract
  • Delegate
  • Direct
  • Delay
  • Document

Often, we want to help when we witness unacceptable, but we do not know what to do, or we are concerned about making the situation worse. The CVEP team develop and deliver resources and training for students to gain knowledge, confidence and skills to implement the approach in their everyday lives.

UG and PGT students can sign up to attend the Active Bystander Intervention courseLink opens in a new window which aims to address sexual misconduct on campuses. PGR students who teach are encouraged to explore the 'Active Bystanders in the Teaching SpaceLink opens in a new window' project.

Introduction to Active Bystander workshop - review

We delivered an Introduction Active Bystander workshop to incoming students this academic year. We have reached 2850 students so far. Of these, 452 completed a feedback survey:

  • 89 percent would recommend the workshop to a friend or peer.
  • A total of 91 percent agreed (54 percent) or strongly agreed (37 percent) that they had developed new or additional knowledge in being an active bystander.
  • A total of 87 percent agreed (62 percent) or strongly agreed (25 percent) that they had developed new or additional confidence as an active bystander.
  • Many students left positive written comments about the facilitators, the delivery style, the interactive format, the content, and the messages. Many were pleased to see Warwick's investment in this project.
  • Feedback included wanting more examples of everyday behaviours and to cover a wider range of topics. We will ensure to update the content to reflect feedback for next year's incoming students.

Quotes from students who attended the Intro to Active Bystander workshop


Wider opportunities and activities

  • Union black: Britain’s Black cultures & steps to anti-racism A 6-hour online learning course that challenges racial myths and biases in Britain through the lens of Black cultures. Find out more.
  • Pronouns Pledge: The Warwick Queering University programme has launched the Pronouns Pledge. One of the six steps is to challenge the incorrect use of pronouns and misgendering by others. See more details.

Support services

Explore the University's support and advice services for students.

If you or someone you know has been affected by drink spiking, please refer to the information and advice here.

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