Safety is the #1 priority when considering becoming involved in a high-risk situation. Follow these safe intervention strategies:
Always assess the situation for your personal safety and those of others involved. This is your first priority. Check the scene and notice all the people that are around you and anything that could harm yourself or others near you. If you are a witness to bullying, it may be best to stay out of the sight of the bully, but you can help by recording the incident on your cell phone and sharing it with the school administration. Do not post photos/video on the Internet. Doing so may put the victim in harm’s way and subject them to additional acts of violence. In potentially violent situations, you can call 9-1-1 and then stand by to provide police officers with information related to the incident.
Be aware of the problem or situation. Listen carefully to the conversation and the behavior of the people involved to determine if this is an emergency or a potentially high-risk situation that may develop into violence. Determine if the person needs help.
If you determine the person needs help and you wish to become an engaged bystander, consider your options for action:
For immediate help, call 9-1-1. If you are a student and you hear someone talking about doing harm to anyone at school or bringing a weapon on campus, report this immediately to your teacher, principal, school counselor, or campus security. You could be saving lives!