An Empowered Bystander is someone who helps create a safer community by utilizing a wide range of behaviors, including standing up and speaking out, when they witness situations that could potentially threaten the health and safety of others. Empowered Bystanders actively promote a culture of safety.
Microaggression refers to the commonplace prejudice experienced if your race, gender, ethnicity, religion, economic class, nationality, language, ability level, or body type is marginalized. Whether microaggression is intentional or not, it is experienced as a put down. Even though it can be difficult to pinpoint microaggression, it is important to identify it, and recognize that it is unacceptable. Microaggression is powerful and insidious, and can be as harmful as overt aggression.
People who witness verbally or physically coercive or violent situations sometimes decide not to act in response to it. This happens for many reasons: We may think that it isn’t our responsibility or our business, that someone else who “knows what to do” will step in, or that the aggression will subside without our intervention. It is important not to judge the reasons why individuals choose not to intervene and instead prepare in advance how to respond if faced with such a situation. Silence and inaction may only add to the problem.
If you are out with friends, watch out for them. Encourage your friends to keep watch over their own drinks and not share them or drink from common containers. Check in with your group periodically.
The New School Sexual Assault Policy
Information on the New York State Law on Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault Policy Overview at The New School (PDF) Statement on the Prevention of Violent, Abusive, and Intimidating Behavior (PDF)