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You Need to Be an Upstander Now

By Jeanie Suh, Phoenix Risen

· Blog

The heroes that you looked up to when you were little all had one thing in common. They were all Upstanders. An Upstander is someone who sees wrong and acts, and the best thing about being an Upstander is that anyone can be one.

An Upstander is the opposite of a bystander. A bystander is discouraged from intervening in a situation, even though intervention is often needed. Bystanders listen to the little voice in their head that says, “Someone else will help, I’m sure of it.” People can suffer from the bystander effect for a lot of reasons: a sense of helplessness, a fear of consequences, a perceived diffusion of responsibility, and the worry that your perception of the situation is incorrect.

Upstanders make a difference. 70% of workplace sexual harassment cases go unreported by the victim. Upstanders can help by reassuring the victim that they are not “making a big deal out of nothing” or helping them get out of uncomfortable situations. Victims helped by an Upstander experience less anxiety and depression than those who do not.

So how do you become an Upstander? There are five pillars:

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