Active Bystanders- Scenario 1

                 Is high school even high school without at least one fight breaking out in the middle of the quad once a week? I try my best not be drawn into such fights but I don’t get my way all the time. In fact I’m glad I got involved in this fight because if I hadn’t,who knew what would’ve happened next? Something major no doubt. Anyway, let’s start at the top.

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               It was a regular day and I was walking across the quad, a stretch of soft green grass in the middle of the campus, minding my own business and thinking about how I can’t wait to go back home and sleep in my cozy bed between layers of cozy blankets. Two guys were talking to each other, in normal conversational tones as I passed them. They were my classmates.

I hadn’t moved a feet away from them when suddenly their voices rose. I turned around to see both their faces now red, their fists clenched and their voices growing louder and louder. Before I knew it, fists were flying and one of them fell down by my feet. I tried to help him up but he brushed me off and charged at the other guy. As quick as bees, people came over, forming a ring around the two, cheering them on. I knew if this continued, it would get out hand real fast.

               Without even pausing to think, I intervened. Not only because I was scared they would get into trouble, but because I knew they were friends and that they would regret later what they did to each other in a moment of adrenaline-infused-temper. I ran right between them and shouted at the top of my voice. Not the most subtle way to stop a fight but it was effective nonetheless. They were both so shocked at my sudden materialization between them that they both froze in their tracks.

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             I’m glad I intervened at that moment because later on both of them admitted that they were fighting over something pretty stupid. If I had not stopped them, they might’ve inflicted serious damage on each other. The situation I intervened in was not between two hostile people or strangers. However, situations may arise where there is a conflict or hostility between two unknown people, or a situation where someone is taking advantage of someone else who is not in the right state of mind.During such situations, even if intervening is not easy, it is extremely crucial to do so.

                What does it mean to be an active bystander? An active bystander is someone who not only witnesses a situation, but takes steps to speak up or step in to keep a situation from escalating. I think that it is extremely important to not be just a bystander, but an active one. You might witness an incident, but how do you ensure that this situation does not get out hand and cause trouble to those involved or those who are unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity? The best way to ensure this is to intervene before the situation escalates. By doing so, you might be saving their relationship with each other, you might be saving them from trouble, pain or even death. It is hard to judge which situations might turn deadly or get out of hand, so no matter how serious or trivial a situation may seem to be,intervening and stopping it is always the best thing to do.

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This article is an 
‘It’s On Us’ initiative taken by the author and the website. if you want to be a part of the movement, send in your writings about bullying, harassment, sexual abuse, rape, violence and mental health to and be a part of the initiative.

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