As a part of Respect Victoria’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, you can learn how to call out inappropriate behaviour and be an active bystander.
Respect Victoria has created this list below of what you can do when you hear or see sexist, disrespectful or sexually harassing behaviour – and how to ‘call it out!’
- Don’t laugh at sexist jokes
- Share or express your disapproving look to show a behaviour or statement is not okay (shake your head or roll your eyes)
- Leave a pointed and uncomfortable silence
- Make a light-hearted comment (“What century are you living in?”)
- Check-in with the person affected by the comment or behaviour (“I heard what he just said – are you okay?”)
- In private, let the person who initiated inappropriate behaviour that it is not okay (“The joke you made in yesterday’s meeting was not funny and was not okay”)
- Calmly disagree and state that the comment is wrong or unacceptable (“I know you probably didn’t mean it, but I found what you said to be offensive”)
- Speak up and educate by explaining why you disagree: “Actually evidence shows the vast majority of women do not make up false claims of sexual assault”.
- Challenge the logic (“That’s not my experience” or “What makes you think that?”)
- Stand up for the person affected (“Michelle was saying something, and you cut her off again”)
- Make eye contact with the person affected and let them know you’re an ally
- Share your own emotions about the experience (“It actually makes me sad and uncomfortable when you say that”)
- Support others when they call out inappropriate behaviour (“I agree, that’s not funny”)
- Appeal to their better, more mature self (“Come on, you’re better than that”)
- Report the behaviour to management or via incident reporting systems if available
- Disrupt or distract the situation to redirect focus from the incident to something else
Support at La Trobe
At La Trobe, our Safer Community program is a free, confidential support service if you are experiencing concerning, threatening, inappropriate or uncomfortable behaviour. This can be witnessed or experienced both on and off-campus.
Visit Safer Community for more information.