Four steps to prevent an incident

  1. Create a distraction
    • Do what you can to interrupt the situation. A distraction can give the person at risk a chance to get to a safe place.
    • Cut off the conversation with a diversion like, “Let’s get pizza, I’m starving,” or “This party is lame. Let’s try somewhere else.”
    • Bring out fresh food or drinks and offer them to everyone at the party, including the people you are concerned about.
    • Start an activity that draws other people in, like a game, a debate.
  2. Ask directly
    • Talk directly to the person who might be in trouble.
    • Ask questions like “Who did you come here with?” or “Would you like me to stay with you?”
  3. Refer to an authority
    • Sometimes the safest way to intervene is to refer to a neutral party with the authority to change the situation, like a Residential Advisor or security guard.
    • Talk to a security guard, bartender, or another employee about your concerns. It’s in their best interest to ensure that their patrons are safe, and they will usually be willing to step in.
    • If the concerning behaviour is occurring on University property, call Security.
    • Don’t hesitate to call 000 if you are concerned for someone else’s safety.
  4. Enlist others

    It can be intimidating to approach a situation alone.

    • Ask someone to come with you to approach the person at risk. When it comes to expressing concern, sometimes there is power in numbers.
    • Ask someone to intervene in your place. For example, you could ask someone who knows the person at risk to escort them to the bathroom.
    • Enlist the friend of the person you’re concerned about. “Your friend looks like they’ve had a lot to drink. Can you check on them?”