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Helping Strategies

Title IX – Sexual Misconduct/Sex Discrimination

Emergency Helping – General Strategies

Emergency situations unfold quickly and often require immediate helping responses.

Carefully assess the entire situation/circumstances before making any decisions or taking any action. Choose the most effective ways of helping for that particular situation. Be sure to not make the situation escalate.

Consider both direct and indirect ways to intervene:

  • Direct: You take responsibility as the primary helper.
  • Indirect: You request that someone else take responsibility as the primary helper (e.g., the Police, Emergency Medical Trained or EMT personnel, Athletic Administrators, etc.)

Whatever response you choose, remember the following in an emergency/crisis:

  • Calm the person
  • Gather information
  • Look at options
  • Provide support
  • Know appropriate referrals
  • Do not become a part of the altercation
  • Look for the best exit strategies (getting out of the situation) for those involved.
  • Be clear and direct with all of your requests.
  • Make safe choices; consider the level of risk in choosing an action for intervening.
  • Understand boundaries and limits — don’t be a hero. Remember verbal fights can quickly turn into physical fights. ***It is often better to WALK AWAY.
  • Intervene early — before a problem becomes a crisis or disaster.
  • Publicly state your commitment to helping. “I will do X.”
  • Engage other bystanders — You do “Y.”
  • Discuss consequences that the person cares about — Encourage VALUE BASED DECISIONS.
  • Assess personal exposure/liability when actions you know about are criminal.
  • Call 9-1-1 if it is not safe or prudent for you to help directly.

Non-Emergency Helping General Strategies

Non-emergency situations unfold more slowly and allow more careful planning of a helping response.

Consider both direct and indirect ways to intervene:

  • Direct: You speak with the person directly.
  • Indirect: Talk to another person who you feel could be helpful or give guidance and direction — teammate, counselor, administrator, coach.

Note: If you do not act immediately, don’t ignore the situation. Just because you don’t act right then and there doesn’t mean you can’t do it later!

Whatever response you choose, remember the following:

  • Consider frequency, duration and intensity/severity when evaluating a situation.
  • Determine the barrier for the person if possible — motivation, ability or environment.
  • Know your limits as a helper — engage others as necessary.
  • Be sensitive, understanding and non-judgmental.
  • Challenge misperceptions – Express your true feelings/beliefs.
  • Identify the red flags; Anticipate problems.
  • Determine the priority goal; Formulate a plan; Prepare/practice what you want to say.
  • Interrupt/distract/delay a situation you think might be problematic — before it becomes an emergency!
  • Set boundaries — do not make excuses for the person or otherwise enable them.
  • Remember the Law of Delivery – Who (person/s), What (content), When (timing), Where(location/privacy), Why (reasons) and How (tone).