The Four Ds of Bystander Intervention

In a nutshell, Bystander Intervention is about four Ds – namely:
1) Distract
2) Delegate
3) Direct
4) Delay

Distraction refers to creating some distraction that is enough for a perpetrator to discontinue the abusive, wrong and violent behavior. Such things could be spilling a drink, intervening to ask for directions, asking the victim to come and help with a task, telling the perpetrator that their car is getting towed or they’ve received a request to re-park the vehicle, or even screaming loudly.

Delegation refers to reaching out to others to intervene, rather than intervening yourself – you could reach out to a person in authority, a security guard or watchman, a bouncer, the host of the event you are part of, your group of friends, a parent or guardian, or even the police.

Direct refers to addressing the abusive incident directly by confronting the victim or the perpetrator. This can be done by asking if the victim is okay, or by telling the perpetrator that what they are doing is wrong. This is usually a difficult and dangerous way to intervene as a bystander, so if you do intend to intervene by directly getting into the situation, you must do so by taking all safety measures to ensure that you do not suffer as a consequence.

Delay refers to intervention after the abuse has taken place – sometimes, it is not clear that violence or abuse is taking place, or you may arrive late to the scene. It involves getting the victim to safety and providing for the victim’s needs and ensuring immediate attention.

In the Media

Chennai, India