Rape Prevention Video Demonstrates Significance of Bystander Intervention

by Brittany Houlihan

A new ad campaign released by “Who Are You?” focuses on bystander intervention when it comes to sexual assault.  The video released by the New Zealand organization shows the story of a woman and her friend getting ready to party, and shows other people such as her roommate, a bartender, and a regular guy going about their nights.  As the video progresses, the girl drinks more and more, and a guy starts hanging around her.  There are points throughout the night where the other characters look concerned when they see her with the guy, but sadly don’t take action, and it’s too late.  The video isn’t graphic, but could be upsetting to some.  Watch it over here.

Then, the video goes in reverse, and every time one of the bystanders shows up, they do take action.  The video does a good job of showing how many opportunities there are to take care of someone who could be in danger, whether you’re a close friend or a stranger.  As the website says, “It’s not about being a hero-it’s about doing something small.”  The website also provides information for sexual violence crisis including support pages and phone numbers.

The only thing I don’t like about this video is that it implies that female rape victims are often just drunk, which frequently results in placing the blame on the victim.  But I do like that it shows that even if the girl does get drunk, a sexual assault is never her fault.

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