On March 13th 1964 Katherine “Kitty” Genovese was raped and stabbed to death near her home in Queens, New York. It is reported that 38 witnesses heard her cries for help or saw part of the attack but fail to intervene. This crime is cited by physiologist, violence prevention educators, and others to speak about the diffusion of responsibility as a factor of the bystander effect
Bystanders intervention intents to empower bystanders to act before uncomfortable social situations escalate into interpersonal violence. Bystander intervention challenges diffusion of responsibility that contributes to crimes.
We also understand that people have to make sense of their capacities as it fits their realities. In any case, bystander intervention suggest that people need to feel empowered to know that in one way or another they have the ability to end the possibility or reality of interpersonal violence; however that might look for them. Act Now Chicago would like to give folks the four D’s as starters for intervention and then we talk about how these might change given the situation or peoples social identities. Ultimately those 4 D’s tell people that: they can be Direct in confronting the situation; they can Distract the perpetrator and create an opportunity for the potential victim to get away; maybe folks can Delegate the task either to an RA, a teacher, bartender, bouncer, or find people to back them up in the intervention; but most important of all a even a Delayed response such as following up and asking if someone is okay after the matter can be very helpful.