Bystander Intervention: How you can help

Bystander intervention is a sexual assault prevention strategy that encourages witnesses to take safe action when they see a situation that might lead to sexual assault, and to support victims after an incident. Being an active bystander does not require that you risk our own safety or the well-being of others. The goal is to aid in the prevention of violence without causing further threat, harm, or damage. There is a range of responses you can use that are appropriate, depending on the situation. However, if you or someone else is in immediate danger:

Reporting Criminal and Emergency Incidents

Middlesex Community College students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors are encouraged to report all crimes and public safety related incidents to the MCC Public Safety or Campus Safety Officer in a timely manner. Public Safety and the Campus Security Officer, based on their role, are mandated to report crimes and emergency incidents. Both the Lowell and Bedford campus maintain 24 hour coverage and are continually patrolled. Public Safety officers can be approached at any time.

Campus, Medical or Campus Safety Emergency

  • Dial 911 immediately. When calling for an emergency or non-emergency incident, be prepared to:
    • Clearly identify yourself
    • State where you are calling from
    • State briefly the nature of your call

Non-Emergency Incidents For Non-life threatening emergencies,

  • Dial ext. 6224 from on-campus phones or
  • Public Safety, Bedford: 781-589-0234 or
  • Public Safety, Lowell: 781-589-1384

MCC strongly recommends that community members pre-program their cell phones with the MCC Public Safety phone numbers as well as local police agency’s non-emergency phone numbers.

This is the best action a bystander can take.

Bystander Interventions are used to

  • To intervene in emergency situations
  • To stop or redirect language or behavior that is inappropriate, discriminatory and/or harmful to the community
  • To report criminal activity
  • To stop and prevent dating violence, domestic violence and sexual assault
  • To affirm good behavior and language

How can you keep Middlesex Community College safe?
Help us through the following:

  • Awareness: Be aware of situations that could lead to sexual violence.
  • Responsibility:  You are a part of a campus community that supports and helps each other.
  • Commitment:  Make a commitment to help maintain a safe environment to learn and work and report threats to the safety of Middlesex Community College students and employees.
  • Confidence:  Be confident in your ability to take effective action to prevent sexual violence. Trust your intuition and don’t hesitate to call for help.
  • Intervention: Intervene in ways that protect your own safety and are truly supportive to victims.
  • Resources:  Bystanders also need safety nets for themselves – you can call upon resources and community policies that support intervention.

Be Proactive:

  • Talk to friends who have expressed violent feelings or behaviors. Assist them in getting help from a counselor or other professional.
  • Don’t participate in sexist conversation. Don’t laugh at rape jokes.
  • Speak up against false comments or jokes about sexual assault and educate people about it.
  • Watch for signs of predatory behavior. Intervene to prevent a sexual assault from taking place.

Always Remember:

  • Approach everyone as a friend.
  • Be honest and direct.
  • Don’t be aggressive or use violence.
  • Keep yourself safe.
  • Get help from other bystanders, if necessary.
  • Call the police if a situation becomes too serious.

Together, let’s end sexual assault and keep Middlesex Community College safe!

Last Modified: 1/9/24