Stand Up Carolina, the University of South Carolina’s bystander accountability initiative, encourages the entire Carolina community to be active bystanders who step in and speak up.  An active bystander is someone who sees a negative situation and intervenes in some way. Negative situations can include sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, or discriminatory, destructive and illegal behavior. 

Being an active bystander does not always mean a person has to physically or directly intervene. Some indirect options include calling the police, notifying a university administrator or telling a faculty or staff member. Making the choice to be an active bystander can make a very real difference in someone’s life.  Through educational presentations, social media messaging and on-campus events, Stand Up Carolina educates students, faculty and staff on the role of active bystanders, how they can intervene in harmful situations and what resources are available on campus.

Stand Up Carolina is also offered for faculty and staff so that they may recognize interpersonal violence and include pertinent intervention strategies into their class curriculums. Stand Up Carolina is also offered as a University 101 partner presentation, and is designed to correlate specifically to the course goals and learning objectives of University 101. For more information regarding the Stand Up Carolina partner presentation for University 101, click here. SAVIP also offers Stand Up Carolina presentations to individual classes or student organizations upon request, time permitting.

To sign up for a Stand Up Carolina workshop or to schedule one for your class or student organization, please call Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention at 803-777-8248.

Here are some examples of how you can Stand Up!

If you see a friend who seems “out of it” being intimate with someone, pull your friend aside to make sure they are safe and are aware of what’s happening.

If a friend is trying to engage in a sexual encounter with someone who is “out of it”, pull them aside and remind them someone cannot consent to sexual activity if they are incapacitated.

Your roommate has recently starting seeing someone new. You notice that they constantly check in with their partner and that the partner seems really controlling. You decide to talk with your friend about your concerns.

If you notice a couple arguing and the argument escalates you can simply ask, “Are you alright?” or you can inform the aggressor that the police have been called because of the noise.

Report any unusual behaviors to campus authorities.

Other intervention strategies includes:

• Distract the perpetrator in order to diffuse the situation
• Take one person aside
• Offer to call a cab
• Knock on the door
• Directly ask one of the people what is going on