What is a Bystander?

Traditional prevention efforts encourage (mainly) girls and women to protect themselves. These tactics are helpful but they don’t stop abuse and they put the duty and responsibility to prevent abuse solely on the victim.

Bystanders, friends, partners, classmates and family members are in a unique position to do something about stopping abuse and confronting abusers before an assault can occur.

Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center’s Bystander Education

The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center’s Bystander Education Program serves 7th and 8th grade middle school boys and girls, aged 13 – 18. Unique “near peer” training sessions rely on student leaders to demonstrate how standing up to peers engaging in abusive behaviors can create positive social change. Participants learn to be role models and to safely confront abusive peers in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the greater community.

The bystander approach draws students, faculty and family into conversations about creating a safer, healthier community while avoiding the pitfalls of stereotyping and victim blaming.

Using positive messaging and sustainable techniques, the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center partners with schools to give students, faculty and administrators the tools to intervene and possibly prevent abuse from happening.