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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Bystander Intervention?

Because the prevalence and threat of sexual harassment and violence remain harsh realities of everyday life including in the workplace and learning environments. It needs to be addressed by all of us.

Bystander Intervention promotes the development of a culture of individual and collective responsibility that empowers all members of society to challenge unacceptable behaviour and in this context to demand a zero tolerance of all forms of sexual harassment and violence. At third level, it engages the university community and provides training for all staff and students.

What is an Active Bystander?

An Active Bystander witnesses and recognises a harmful or potentially harmful act and doesn’t passively walk away. They identify it as unacceptable and make a suitable intervention, using the skills, knowledge and techniques developed in the course of completing the Bystander Intervention training programme.

What does an intervention look like?

It can be verbal, like politely asking the perpetrator to stop, or non-verbal, such as raising a disapproving or concerned eye-brow, or not laughing at a “joke”; it could be shielding someone or removing them from a situation, interrupting the banter or distracting a potential perpetrator; or it can be simply providing a listening ear and support after an incident has occurred.

Whether in the scenarios, role-plays, questions, action steps and resources, you’ll find all these skills and many more interwoven throughout the Bystander Intervention Programme’s introductory video, 5 modules and interactive workshop.

What are the 5 steps of a bystander intervention?

Notice the event – Interpret the situation as a problem – Assume personal responsibility – Know how to help – Step Up and intervene if it is safe to do so.

Why should I get involved?

Everyone has a role to play in preventing relationship and sexual violence. You are part of the community! If we don’t speak out, we are part of the problem. We need to be able to identify unacceptable behaviour and call it out. We can help our friends, colleagues and family members to recognise the signs and be safe; and we can make safe and effective interventions to end the harassment and violence. With the right skills, you can be the difference by helping others, stepping in and speaking up.

How do I become an Active Bystander?

You're already moving in the right direction. Next is to learn some of the skills to harness your power to act! Complete the on-line training whenever it suits you. As a UCC student or member of staff, you can access the course by enrolling through Canvas here. If you are an external user, please contact to gain access to the programme via Canvas Catalog.

What will I learn from the Training?

You’ll learn about consent and the boundaries surrounding sexual assault, rape and abusive relationships, about how to recognise the links between sexist attitudes and gender-based violence, and where and how to seek help. Additionally, you will learn when and how to intervene, which can be at any time, either before, during, or after an event. Crucially you will learn the Golden Rule: only intervene when it is safe for you to do so. If it is not safe, in an emergency, call 112, or 999. The Bystander Intervention Programme in UCC enables you to develop your skills and confidence to intervene in any setting.

...but I already know about consent?

In addition to learning about consent, the Bystander Intervention training supports you to learn how to intervene in situations where someone else (a friend or stranger) is experiencing sexual abuse or is at risk of such behaviour. The skills you develop are applicable to a range of challenging situations, from managing a situation when ‘banter’ goes that bit too far to knowing what to do if you see any form of abuse or inappropriate behaviour.

What is involved in the Bystander Training?

Five on-line modules - Each takes approximately 40 minutes and can be completed at your own pace.

One interactive workshop - A live, facilitated workshop, which takes approximately 60 minutes.

One reflection piece - It allows you to share your experience of the programme and your perspectives on being an Active Bystander. Be as creative as you like – e.g. painting, poetry, creative writing or short essay.

I’m busy, I don’t need more work to do!

The programme is designed to allow you to complete it in your own time and at your own pace, depending on your workload. If you’re keen to get your award before the end of a semester, we suggest setting an hour aside each week well in advance of study week and exams, to complete the 5 self-directed online modules, then sign-up and participate in the interactive workshop. To make life easier, with the learning fresh on your mind, you can submit the reflection piece soon after. Please note that external users participate through Canvas Catalog, complete the 5 online modules only and are then awarded a Certificate of Completion.

How do I enrol in the Programme?

Please, follow the link here bringing you to Programme registration and training modules located on Canvas (must be a UCC student or staff member). If you are an external user, please contact to gain access to the programme via Canvas Catalog.

How do I sign-up to the facilitated workshop?

The sign-up form can be accessed within the Bystander programme on Canvas after the five online self-directed modules have been completed.

Where can I find the schedule for the facilitated workshop?

You can view the schedule here.

How long does the facilitated workshop last?

60 minutes.

Do I have to participate in the role-plays in the facilitated workshop?

No. Participation is voluntary. You are invited to indicate this in an email prior to the workshop.

Do I have to cite academic references in my reflection piece?

No, this is a personal reflection, not an academic piece of work.

Is there a deadline to submit the reflection piece?

We encourage participants to submit this and the associated forms soon after completing the facilitated workshop. Additionally, if you wish to be awarded your Digital Badge during the academic year, you will need to submit by the end of April.

What is a Digital Badge and of what use is it to me?

The UCC Digital Badge is the means whereby UCC recognises student and staff commitment to personal development alongside academic endeavours and in this context, the commitment to the completion of a training programme which educates and empowers participants to effect positive cultural change.

When are Digital Badges awarded?

At the end of each semester.

How do I access my Digital Badge and upload it to my social media profile e.g. LinkedIn?

Please see the following recording of our workshop on this topic - 'What do I do with my UCC Bystander Digital Badge'.

What is a UCC Bystander Ambassador?

A UCC Bystander Ambassador is a cultural norm changer! They advocate for a world free from sexual violence and gender inequalities, by reaching out and inspiring others to get involved, complete the training and take action. Drawn from across and beyond the university, they share the mission and values of UCC and also hold a Step Up! Bystander Digital Badge award.

What kinds of activities does a UCC Bystander Ambassador get involved in?

Bystander Intervention Ambassadors promote the vision of the programme by encouraging peers to engage in campus based initiatives and support registration in the programme through public action. They also raise awareness and share their experiences and inspirational stories about intervening in situations of sexual harassment and violence. More specifically, they volunteer their time to attest to the power of the UCC Bystander Intervention Programme to effect real change by promoting its ideals and activities and by being involved in Bystander and related events.

How do I become a UCC Bystander Ambassador?

Please register your interest by following the link here.

Can I stay connected to the Bystander Programme even when I finish my degree and leave UCC? If so, how?

Yes, whether as a student or member of staff, we welcome staying connected. You can do this by becoming a UCC Bystander Ambassador and following us on social media (Twitter | Instagram).