The 5Ds of Bystander Intervention

The 5Ds methodology by Right To Be is an expert-approved set of tools to help you safely intervene when you witness street harassment. Remember, the first rule is to prioritise your personal safety. Do not challenge harassers if they are threatening or you believe they may cause harm to you or the victim if you do so. Which approach(es) you use will depend on the situation: 

Delay - Comfort the harassed person after the incident and acknowledge that the behaviour was wrong. Be a friend. 



Delegate - Find someone in a position of authority (e.g. shop security, bartender or a bus driver) and ask them to intervene. 


Distract - Pretend to be a friend, ask for the time, cause a distraction, and be creative

Direct - Speak up, call the harasser out, and then turn your attention to the person being harassed. If they respond, ignore them; don't escalate. Only use his method as a last resort to prevent violence. Your safety and that of the person being harassed come first

Document - Watch and witness, write down or film the harassment, provide the footage to the victim and never post it online or use it without their permission. 



Encourage the victim to report the incident – the more this is done, the more opportunity we have to identify and STOP inappropriate behaviour. While it is important for the victim and witnesses to report harassment and other crimes, society needs to take more responsibility for societal change and to intervene and speak out.

Our Community Safety Charter

Community Safety CharterAt Neighbourhood Watch, we recognise that there is a need for a change in attitudes and behaviour that puts the focus on the victim as the only party with a responsibility to come forward and report what has happened. While support and intervention from individual witnesses can empower victims to report, support needs to also come from those within the broader social network within which harassment, intimidation and hostility occur. Local businesses, organisations and authority figures can proactively intervene to help create an environment within which these crimes are not tolerated and where silence in the face of them by the wider community is not accepted.

Our Community Safety Charter provides a framework and resources to assist businesses, organisations and individuals to help create an environment that is safer for everyone by:

  • Promoting a culture that does not tolerate antisocial behaviour, harassment, intimidation and hostility towards others
  • Enabling others to identify and take an active stance against these crimes and incidents
  • Actively encouraging and supporting those who experience or witness these crimes and incidents to report them to the relevant authorities
  • Supporting those affected and signposting those who need further support to agencies who can help them

Anyone can sign up to the Community Safety Charter. Find out more and sign up here.

Where can I find out more?

If you want to find out more about being an active bystander, visit Right To Be or Stand By Me.