By-stander Intervention

Wednesday, April 20th, six people were arrested in Ocala, Florida for the murder of a 15 year old boy. The six hatched a plot after witnessing the victim strike his dating partner. You can read more about the case here.

The elaborate plot and brutal murder is a rather extreme version of what youth often say is an appropriate response to witnessing dating violence. We’re often told by the young men we work with that they would step in and “beat the guy up” for laying his hands on a female. As advocates for peace, responding to violence with more violence is not what we would consider an appropriate means of intervention. Part of our youth programming discusses healthy ways of supporting a victim or intervening. If the recent Ocala case is an example of what NOT to do, what do you think would be an appropriate response to seeing a friend, colleague, classmate or coworker hit their dating partner? How might your response change based on which person you knew or didn’t know? Would you be as willing to speak up if you knew the perpetrator? The victim?

Note: We stress safety first! Please only intervene if it is safe for you to do so.


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