The Dos and Don’ts for Bystanders in Situations of Danger and Intimidation

picture of the words "peace" and "justice" with arrow pointing from one to the other in a circular manner.

Peace to Justice to Peace; meme courtesy of Word Clip Art

In December, after the increase in hate crimes, intimidation, and interpersonal violence across the United States, the American Friends Service Committee put out a statement on how you, as a bystander, can help without escalating these types of dangerous situations.

As a person who believes that all peoples are and should be welcome, I think these do’s and don’ts are something that all of us should take heed of and act on when we come across these intimidating situations.

Help make your town a welcoming community. Here are the general Do’s and Don’ts when you witness these potentially dangerous activities.  For more on each “Do” and “Don’t,” click here to download and read the details.


  • Do make your presence as a witness known.
  • Do take cues from the individual being harassed.
  • Do keep both of you safe.


  • Don’t call the police.
  • Don’t escalate the situation.
  • Don’t do nothing.

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