PARK Logo

Peace – what is it to you?

Is it sitting quietly in your favorite place? Or is it being free to be who you want to be? Is it wearing tie-dye and peace signs? Or is it being happy and friendly to others? Peace for us is a relationship between any people who express respect to and for one another.

If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

You can help bring it to your community

We think of a bystander as someone in a crowd who sees an uncomfortable situation and does nothing. If we want more PARK in our community, we must learn to become active bystanders who know when and how to speak up and take positive action.

Active bystanders are individuals whose behaviors intervene in ways that impact the outcome positively.

Abuse of Any One Harms Everyone.

  • Be respectful of yourself and others.
  • Be supportive of someone who has been bullied or abused. 
  • Believe someone who discloses a sexual assault, abusive relationship, or any violent experience.
  • Watch out for your friends and others – If you see someone who looks like they are in trouble, ask if they are okay. If you see a friend doing something questionable, say something.
  • Speak up – If someone says something offensive, derogatory or abusive, let them know that this behavior is unacceptable, and you don’t want to be around it. Don’t laugh at racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes. Challenge your peers to be respectful.

Active Bystanders:

Call for help
Model healthy communication
Are positive role models
Model respectful relationships

You can avoid being a passive bystander. Many people do not intervene in a situation because they are afraid of making a scene or feel as though a person would ask for help if it were needed. But it is better to be wrong about the situation than to have done nothing at all.

Quick Tips for intervening
  • Approach everyone as a friend.
  • Do not be antagonistic.
  • Avoid using violence.
  • Be honest and direct whenever possible.
  • Recruit help if necessary.
  • Keep yourself safe.
  • If things get out of hand or become too serious, contact the police.

Plan ahead

Use the information below as a guide to help you come up with a plan beforehand. Talk with your friends about your ideas and then choose the strategy that is best for the situation.

Communicate

State your feelings, name the behavior and state how you want the person to respond. For example: “I feel ______ when you _______ . Please don’t do that any more.”

*Give them the silent stare" Remember, you don’t have to speak to communicate with someone. Sometimes a disapproving look can be far more powerful than words.

Try humor

Humor can reduce the tension of an intervention and makes it easier for the person to hear you. But do not undermine what you say with too much humor. Funny doesn’t mean unimportant.

Have an intervention

There is safety and power in numbers. Do this strategy with someone who has a clear pattern of inappropriate behavior and where you can present many examples as evidence of their problem.

Bring it home

Make it personal to the offender. This approach prevents someone from distracting themselves from the impact of their actions. For example, “I hope no one ever talks about you like that.” This also keeps the offender from dehumanizing their targets. For example, “What if someone said your girlfriend deserved to be raped or called your mother a whore.”

“We’re friends, right…..”?

Reframe the intervention as caring and non-critical. For example, “Hey Mike, as your friend I’ve gotta tell you that getting a girl drunk to get her to have sex with you isn’t cool, and could get you in a lot of trouble. Don’t do it.”

Create a distraction

You can snap someone out of their “comfort zone” this way. It can also allow a victim move away or to have others friends step in. For example, ask someone who is harassing someone on the street for directions or the time. Another example would be to spill your drink on the offender or interrupt and start a conversation with them.

SAFETY FIRST!

Being an active bystander does not mean that you should ever risk your own or another’s safety.

If things get out of hand or become too serious, call 911 or get help!

"Peace begins with a smile."
Mother Teresa

 

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
Mother Teresa

 

"It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it."
Eleanor Roosevelt