It can be hard to know what to do when an uncomfortable, even potentially dangerous, situation arises, but silence and inactivity never make a situation better. Try some of these ideas!
Clarification:Some people may not realize the impact of their language or behaviors. Ask questions about what happened and encourage them to think about what happened.
"When you said ____ what did you mean?"
"I'm not sure I understand what you are saying?"
"What was your intention?"
Direct Interventions:Intervening when someone is in immediate physical danger or when the conversation topic gets inappropriate and it is addressed at the moment. It sends a message that you are concerned, paying attention and willing to get involved.
"I don't agree with you"
"I don't think that's appropriate."
"Please stop that."
"I'm calling for help."
"Is everything ok?""Do you need help?"
"I" Statements:Emphasizing the impact the behavior had on you by stating your feelings, recognizing the behavior that made you feel that way and stating what you would like the other person's response to be.
"It makes me feel uncomfortable when you talk about other people in that way. Please stop using that type of language.""I feel ___when you ___. Please don't do that anymore."
Indirect Intervention:Addressing the issue at a later time.
"I want to talk with you about something I heard you say last night.""Something has been bothering. Can we talk?"
Nonverbal Communication:Facial expressions and body language send powerful messages about your disagreement or discomfort in a situation.
Concerned facial expression, silent stare, crossed arms
Personalize:Personalizing the situation sometimes helps the person being confronted to take the feedback seriously, empathize with how they have made someone feel or consider the impact of their actions.
"Would you want a friend treated that way?"
"I really don't appreciate that kind of language."
"We're friends and I am worried about you."
"I am worried that if you keep this up, you will get in trouble."
Sometimes it is helpful to provide the facts, describe the law or explain a policy. Some people may be unaware that their behavior meets the criteria of being something harmful.
"It's not about your intent, it's about the interpretation. This could be considered sexual harassment and that's not funny."
"If they're drunk, they can't give consent for sex.""You told them to leave you alone. If they keep it up you could file a harassment or stalking complaint."
This could be direct or indirect intervention. Ask for guidance from a professor, staff member, colleague, counselor (confidential resource) or someone that you feel comfortable talking to about the subject. Tell them what you've observed and ask them for help. This could be as easy as anonymous call to Campus Public Safety to let them know what is happening.
Distraction: You can interrupt the behavior without directly addressing it or the offender. For instance, asking for directions, the time or help with something
Humor: Humor can be an effective technique to decrease tension, raise awareness and increase critical thinking, when used properly. Be cautious that humor also has potential of minimizing an important point.
Strike When the Iron is Cold: Sometimes people need to calm down and relax before an intervention. Talk to them later about the events to give the offender time to rethink their actions and give the target a chance to leave.
Champlain College's Counseling & Accommodation Services Center offers a full range of confidential mental health services including individual and group counseling.
Residential students may seek out their RA or contact a member of the professional staff. All member of the Residential Life department receive training on a variety of issues, including diversity and inclusion, sexual violence and emergency response.
Antonio B. Pomerleau Building, One North Avenue
Phone: (802) 658-2704 / Emergency: Dial 911
Women Helping Battered Women offers hotline, shelter and housing program, children's program, and legal advocacy program to women, men, and children experiencing domestic violence.
|Members of the Champlain College community are encouraged to speak to college officials (Residential Life, Student Conduct, Campus Public Safety or The People Center) who can help you make formal reports and generate investigations of incidents. Formal reports made to the college will be investigated and pursued through the Student Conduct process. Formal reports are not strictly confidential; however, only college officials who need details of the incident in order to pursue the Student Conduct process will be notified.||If a student wishes to keep the details of the incident confidential, they should speak with on-campus counselors. In addition to providing mental health services, on-campus counselors are knowledgeable about the Student Conduct process and campus resources. Staff and faculty have access to confidential resources through the employee assistance program. Please contact The People Center for more information. All members of the Champlain College community may also speak to local and national off-campus crisis center such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE FREE, or HOPE WORKS, a 24 hour crisis center in Burlington, VT at 1-800-489-7273 FREE.|
Sexual Misconduct (includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking)