Right to Be’s accessible and engaging step-by-step instructional guide to safe and effective bystander intervention
Bystander intervention is simply overcoming that “freeze” instinct when you witness harassment and getting back to the very human desire to take care of one another. It’s not about being the hero, strapping on spandex, and saving the day. And it certainly isn’t about sacrificing your own safety.
From the nonprofit organization Right to Be (formerly Hollaback!), I’ve Got Your Back teaches readers the ins and outs of bystander intervention using Right to Be’s methodology: the 5D’s of bystander intervention—distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct. Each chapter of the book dives deeply into what these D’s can look like in practice, whether you are in public, online, or at work.
The rise in interest in bystander intervention comes at a moment when trust in the institutions historically responsible for keeping us safe is crumbling. However, as trust in our systems falters, trust in our own agency and our own ability to create change is rising. Perhaps for the first time we see that our actions matter. Or, at a minimum, we know our actions are the only thing we can truly control. We all have a role to play when it comes to ending hate and harassment in our communities. If you’re new to these efforts, I’ve Got Your Back will give you the skills to get started. And if you’ve been doing this work for years, this book will provide you with the language to mentor others just beginning their journey.
Jorge Arteaga’s passion for history, places, and people and his ability to plan and execute have allowed him to bring his operational skills to serve in the social justice movement. He earned his bachelor’s in American Studies from SUNY College at Old Westbury and his master’s in American Studies at The City College of New York. He is currently completing his MS in project management and operations at Southern New Hampshire University.
Emily May is an international leader in the movement to end harassment in all its forms. In 2005, at the age of 24, she cofounded Right to Be (formerly Hollaback!). May has won 11 awards for her work and been featured in more than 200 news media outlets, including People, the New York Times, and NPR. May holds a bachelor’s from New York University, a master’s from the London School of Economics, and is a Prime Movers Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow.
Emily May and Jorge Artega photo courtesy of Sylvie Rosocoff