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Student Life

Health & Counseling Center


Gender Violence Prevention and Education

Bystander Intervention

When someone interrupts a problematic or potentially harmful situation, stopping action or comments that promote sexual or discriminatory violence, bullying, harassment, intimidation, or threatening behavior - they are practicing bystander intervention.

Bystander intervention is about challenging and changing the cultural norms that make problematic or harmful behavior acceptable.

At DU, we use the BOSS decision making steps to help us intervene:

  • Be aware
  • Observe your situation
  • Size up your options
  • Speak up and act!

Intervention is not one size fits all. You can select an intervention style that works for you:

  • Direct- you feel comfortable acting as the primary helper
  • Indirect- you create a distraction or other interruption to halt the potentially harmful situation
  • Refer- you request assistance from a qualified resource such as Campus Safety, Denver Police, Title IX, or Pioneers CARE

Want to attend a BOSS training and build your skills? Do you think your team, club, class, organization, or department would benefit from a BOSS training? Submit a request here! BOSS training is available to all DU community members.