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Sometimes the intervention was direct: “Dude, you’re hitting on girls you have no chance with. Intervention can be uncomfortable and difficult for anyone.The survey shows that students need more training and practice, the researchers wrote, suggesting that high school health classes should include lessons on bystander intervention.Those who say something typically talk to a friend.
Sometimes, they didn’t step in because they wanted to watch the drama unfold. “Watching them, it’s funny.” Students told the researchers that they sometimes post updates about a couple’s drama to social media to amplify the audience, along with a popcorn emoticon to show that they were sitting back and watching the show.
More than nine in 10 students said that they had had at least one opportunity within the last year to intervene in situations of dating or sexual violence.
Most students had more than one opportunity: On average, students reported five episodes in which they could have intervened.
“There’s nothing you can really do,” the teen said.
Teens also gave examples of how they had stepped in to shield friends from unwanted advances, or to show aggressive girls and boys that their interest was unrequited. And sometimes it was less direct, such as offering to dance with a girl to give her an escape hatch from a bothersome person.How often high school kids intervene and why they do (or don’t) are questions that haven’t gotten a lot of attention, despite plenty of research showing that high schoolers experience high rates of sexual assault and dating violence.