A ‘bystander’ is someone who sees or knows about abuse that is happening to someone else, but they themselves are not the victim or perpetrator.
At some point most people will be a bystander to abuse. Because our community tend to report to police and access services at much lower rates than the general population, we do need to rely on our friends and peers for support and to intervene.
Bystanders are sometimes in a position to stop abuse from happening, to prevent abuse from escalating or to support someone involved.
Intervening is not always an easy decision to make: there are plenty of very good reasons why someone might choose not to intervene in someone else’s abusive relationship. However there might also be ways that someone can help that will not cause further harm to the victim, to themselves or anyone else involved.
We have updated this website to include a ‘bystander intervention toolkit’ that is designed to help friends overcome some of the barriers to intervening and to offer ways in which someone can intervene in a helpful way when they know or suspect that someone is in an abusive relationship.
For more information go to our bystander intervention toolkit page here.