One of the most important ways to stop violence against women (VAW) is for bystanders such as friends, family, and witnesses to become upstanders who take action to prevent or intervene to stop VAW.
Being an upstander takes immense courage because whether you’re standing up against victim-blaming, stopping an attack in progress, or helping a survivor flee her abuser, you may be risking your own safety. This is why the notorious “Bystander Effect”, which happens when the presence of others discourages an person from intervening in an emergency situation , happens.
To counter the “Bystander Effect”, this section is set up as a resource for empowering you with the intervention and support methods that you can use to help victims/survivors and stop VAW.
Remember: You may not be able to stop the violence in time but you can help the woman heal, escape or even get redress. You may be just one individual but your help will make a difference in the life of a woman facing VAW – you may even save her life.
We have provided a number of guides and other resources as a starting point for individuals and communities who wish to take action:
- General Bystander Resources for Individuals and Communities
- Intervention guide in cases of domestic violence.
- Intervention guide in cases of rape.
- Intervention guide in cases of forced marriage, child marriage, and honour killing.
Footnotes and Further Reading