Bystander action can be anything from a disapproving look to a formal report.

The key is there is action taken to call out disrespectful behaviour and reinforce the social norms that make it unacceptable. Bystander action can be taken:

  • In the moment when you see or hear about the event, behaviour or practice
  • After the moment when the event, behaviour or practice took place.

Taking bystander action at any time is important, because not doing anything  further supports and encourages the behaviours and attitudes to exist.

Helpful tips

When  'jokes' or comments are made that we, or others, may find offensive, calling it out can be daunting and uncomfortable.

We are often unsure what to say in the moment and risk remaining silent and letting it go unchallenged. In most cases it is better to call out the behaviour as inappropriate rather than personally attacking the person doing it. 

Here are some ways out the joke or comment and let the person who made it know that it was unacceptable. 

Report an incident

2 women at a table talking

Whether you have been directly affected, are a witness to an incident or a support person, you can make an official complaint, an anonymous report or simply provide feedback.

Report now