Four Phases of Intervention
Planning: This phase is time for you to anticipate risk and take action to determine how risk can be prevented.
Pre-Problem: This phase is time for recognizing warning signs and taking action to mitigate potential problems before they happen.
Problem: This phase is time we mostly think of for bystander intervention, the moment where immediate action is needed, the problem situation is currently unfolding.
Post-Problem: This phase is time for taking action to support victims, hold individuals accountable, and prepare to address systemic issues in the planning phase.
An effective intervention begins with noticing the situation and recognizing it as a potential problem. Effective interventions continue by recognizing YOUR responsibility to act, and practice the necessary skills, such as the STOP Model shown here.
If you notice a situation that requires immediate intervention, notify others as needed, protect yourself and others, and consider your plan of action.
ASK: If I do intervene, could the situation end badly? Who can I ask for assistance?
SAY: “Here’s the situation…What should we do?” How can we protect everyone’s safety?
Explain to your brother or guest what is at risk, encourage good decision-making and ask the individual to stop their risky behavior.
ASK: What will I/we do if this individual doesn’t cooperate? What happens if another brother (or brothers) come to his defense?
SAY: “I’m concerned about this situation. It’s risky for you and for others.” “Guys, this is a discussion between him and me. Just give us a few minutes to talk.”
Be prepared in case others get defensive. Remember to stay calm.
ASK: If the situation starts to escalate, am I ready for it? What could I do to defuse the situation?
SAY: “I understand that you are just trying to have a good time, but I am just trying to look out for you.” “We’re brothers. Let’s talk this out. Please calm down and talk to me.”
Understand that it is your responsibility to act. Make sure your chapter plans ahead by talking through risk reduction strategies before each social event.
ASK: What could I have done differently? How might our chapter handle situations like this in the future?
SAY: “I am doing this because I care about you and your life. Let’s talk about this tomorrow.” Guys, we need to be there for each other. I would hope someone would do the same for me.”
After you’ve intervened, take time to reflect on the situation. Find the courage to have follow-up conversations at a later time to discuss what occurred.
Citation: The Change Companies, Fraternity Health and Safety Initiative, CHOICES. The STOP Model has been adapted with permission from Sigma Chi Fraternity and Leadership Institute.