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We're Debunking the Bystander Effect, Here's How

There’s a popular idea out there that if a group of people sees someone being hurt, they are less likely to help than if a single person saw that person being hurt. It’s called the bystander effect and it’s debated. In SAFE Bar Network member bars across the country, we’ve seen the bystander effect debunked.

bystander, safe bar, bystander intervention, safe bar network, bartender

After participating in the SAFE Bar Network training conversation, bystander intervention is common at member venues, and the presence of others is more likely to lead to people interrupting to help when they see someone who is unsafe or uncomfortable.


In fact, the presence of others is often the key factor in whether or not bystander intervention is successful in solving a problem or keeping someone safe. It’s not just us, new evidence backs up what we’ve been seeing in member venues for years.



With this in mind, the SAFE Bar Training conversation focuses on teaching bar and restaurant teams how to have conversations about noticing concerning behavior, interrupting effectively, and supporting each other. We work with managers and owners to create social norms that encourage employees to take action to help when they see someone who is uncomfortable or unsafe. At SAFE Bar Network member venues, part of working hard becomes noticing concerning behavior, taking action to help, and supporting each other.


There are everyday active bystanders practicing the skills to keep people safe every day. Watch their stories here, Everyday Active Bystanders.


To learn more about joining the SAFE Bar Network contact us at info@safebarnetwork.org


The SAFE Bar Network is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) you can join the team by donating your time, talent, and money to the mission of giving everyone a SAFE Night Out, just click here.

To learn more about active bystander skills check out our blog post, Obstacles. What obstacles? 3 Full Proof Everyday Active Bystander Skills.


Interested in learning more about bystander intervention? Visit our friends at With Us Center for Bystander Intervention.


If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment our partners can help. Visit MOCSA.org and RAINN.org


To learn more about the field of violence response and prevention visit PreventConnect.org and NSVRC.org

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