Bystander Training Course

Brock University (the "University") recognizes that Sexual Violence is a serious and complex issue that can adversely affect Brock Community Members.  The University unequivocally prohibits and will not condone, tolerate, or ignore any form of Sexual Violence that affects the work and learning environment at the University. 

This online course will help to empower individuals to confidently intervene in an incident in order to stop it.  Individuals will learn how to prevent and de-escalate situations, engaging the broader community, and raise awareness of sexual violence in addition to changing the social norms.

Bystander Training Course

What is the Purpose of Bystander Training?

Bystander intervention has been shown to be an effective and important prevention strategy to decrease rape myths, increase pro-social bystander behavior and increase  self-efficacy.

Bystander intervention can play a significant role in a  comprehensive approach to sexual violence prevention.  It differs from previous approaches in three key ways:  

  1. Bystander intervention discourages victim blaming and makes sexual violence a community problem, rather than an individual problem.
  2. Bystander intervention can play a significant role in a comprehensive approach to sexual violence prevention. When bystanders are approached as allies  in ending sexual violence, rather than as potential  perpetrators or victims, they are less likely to  become defensive.
  3. Bystander intervention plays a role in helping to change social and community norms.

Who is a Bystander?


Bystanders are individuals who observe violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence. They are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak up, or do something about it. They are someone who is present  and thus potentially in position to discourage, prevent,  or interrupt an incident.

How can you help prevent or intervene when there is a risk for sexual violence?

What Is Bystander Intervention?

Bystander intervention is the act of feeling empowered and equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively assist in the prevention of sexual violence. Bystander intervention doesn’t have to jeopardize the safety of the bystander. It encourages safe and positive ways that they can act to prevent or intervene when there is a risk for sexual violence. 

This approach gives community members specific roles that they can use in preventing sexual violence,  including naming and stopping situations that could lead to sexual violence before it happens, stepping in during an incident, and speaking out against ideas and behaviours that support sexual violence. It also gives individuals the skills to be an effective and supportive ally to survivors after an  assault has taken place.

 Bystander Intervention is...

  • checking in with the stranger who has had too much to drink.
  • challenging the guy or girl making suggestive comments.
  • walking your roommate home after a party.

Helpful Tips for Bystanders


  • Walk a friend home from a party who has had too much to drink.
  • Make sure I leave a party with the same people I came with.
  • Ask for verbal consent with my partner.
  • Stop when my partner says stop.
  • Try to get help to intervene if I saw several strangers dragging an individual upstairs to their room.
  • Warn a stranger if I saw someone spike their drink.


  • I confront a friend if I see them grabbing, pushing, and insulting their partner.
  • I get help from others:  friends or professionals, to intervene if I saw a friend grab, push, or insult their partner.
  • If I hear what sounds like yelling and fighting through my residence walls, I go get a Don or someone else for help.
  • Call 911 or Campus Security (x3200, if using a campus telephone) or 905-688-5550  x3200 if I hear someone yelling, fighting, or calling for help.
  • If someone is being shoved or yelled at, I ask them if they need help.


  • Contact a Sexual Violence Support & Education Coordinator if a friend told me they were sexually assaulted.
  • Let a friend know that I am available for support and help if I suspected they were sexually assaulted.
  • Share information about sexual assault and violence with my friends.
  • If I hear an acquaintance talking about forcing someone to have sex, I speak up against it and express concern for the person who was forced.
  • Call 911 or Campus Security (x3200, if using a campus telephone) or 905-688-5550  x3200 if a stranger needs help.

How We Can Help?

It’s okay to not have all the answers. You don’t need to be an expert to prevent or intervene when there is a risk for sexual violence. 

If you need help, we can help you:

  • refer the survivor to a Sexual Violence Response Coordinator
  • ascertain safety
  • help you learn to listen without judgment
  • explain options for support
  • explore safety planning
  • inform the survivor of limitations to confidentiality

You are Not Alone Contact Us Today!

P: (905) 688-5550 x 4859

What Should You Do: Mark the following statements as true or false.

  • Your buddy tells a rape joke in the locker room and you let them know it is not cool.
  • Your roommate discloses being sexual assaulted as a child. You brush it off and walk away.
  • A guy seems too close to a girl who is drunk at the campus bar. You walk away... she is on her own.
  • During orientation week you hear a student taunt a gender queer student, 'guy or girl' 'guy or girl'? You tell the orientation leader about the harassment and the intervene.
  • You are worried that a drunk friend is about to leave the party with a stranger. You check in to make sure she gets home safely.

Knowledge Check: You are at a party and your friend walks by you and you hear him say he is just going to get her “one more” and “that should be enough.” You see him put his arm around a young woman and start to lead her upstairs. What do you do?


This course has been produced so that staff members, faculty and students can begin to feel empowered individuals to confidently intervene in an incident in order to stop it. 

For further, more specific Bystander Training,  and where to access resources.  Please contact Allison Cadwallader - Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator at (905) 688-5550 x4387 or via email