Chances are, you've already witnessed something as a bystander. Maybe, as a kid on a playground, you saw another kid bullied. Perhaps as a teenager at a party, you saw someone being sexually harassed. Or, as an adult on a bus, you saw someone attacked.
There are countless moments where we instinctively sense someone may need help, but something holds us back.
That inaction has a cost. An attack, when it happens in public, isn't just between two people. It involves everyone who witnesses it, and how we respond sets the tone for what we all tolerate.
Knowing what to say or how to safely intervene isn't always clear. But we don't have to stay paralyzed between a "fight or flight" response. There are many ways to calmly assess a situation and effectively deescalate harm.
For tips and advice, Life Kit spoke with victims of public violence and harassment, as well as trainers at Hollaback!, an organization seeking to end harassment.
This comic, illustrated by Connie Hanzhang Jin, is based on a Life Kit episode on the same topic. The podcast version is hosted by Ruth Tam and was produced by Clare Marie Schneider.
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