Bystander intervention is the act of feeling empowered and equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively assist in the prevention of inappropriate behavior or assault. Bystander intervention and bystander education programs teach potential witnesses safe and positive ways to prevent or intervene when there is a risk for violence. This approach gives students specific roles that they can use in preventing assault, including naming and stopping situations that could lead to violence before it happens, stepping in during an incident, and speaking out against ideas and behaviors that support violence. It also gives students the skills to be an effective and supportive ally to victims in the aftermath of violence.
The following are essential components of our unit's bystander intervention program:
(1) Creating and nurturing a climate of caring for all students and staff.
(2) Teaching students to recognize instances of bullying and distinguish between tattling and reporting.
(3) Teaching students to develop empathy for victims and dealing with guilt for not intervening (not blaming the victim).
(4) Teaching students how to report bullying to adults and to develop effective means of intervention.
(5) Setting up a peer warning system.
(6) Empowering bystanders to intervene.
(7) Teaching conflict resolution skills.
Bystander Intervention training is being incorporated into the leadership training that is given each year within our NJROTC classrooms. The ultimate goal of the NJROTC Bystander Intervention Program is that it be led by the senior cadet staff.