I want to help
The OSCE’s research has shown that what survivors of violence against women mostly want and need is moral support. So if you know someone who has experienced violence, the most important thing you can do is to be there for them and comfort them. If they agree or ask you to, you can also contact the support organizations listed here on their behalf. Do not do this without the victim’s consent!
If you witness an act of violence, here are a few things you can do as a bystander (based on EU recommendations)
- Interrupt the situation by asking “What time is it?” or “Where is the next bus stop?”
- Distract the perpetrator by diverting his attention: “Thief! Someone just stole my bag!” or “Fire! Fire!”
- Mobilise others by calling their attention to the situation: “Hey , don’t you think that man is out of order?” or “That woman needs support – let’s help!”
Support the victim!
Try to get her away from the situation by asking her if you can help or by saying “Good to see you! How are you?”.
Challenge the perpetrator!
- Let him know that his actions are not acceptable: “If you don’t stop, I will call the police!” or “What you are doing is sexual harassment and is against the law!”
- Always consider the circumstances and the context and chose a strategy that is safe in the specific situation.