Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE)

The Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE) Project empowers our campus community to take ACTION to prevent relationship violence.

Sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking affects all people. That means anyone can help as a bystander. Sometimes bystanders are directly involved in a situation that is concerning, and sometimes they're just aware of the situation as a friend, family member, or acquaintance.

A bystander is a witness with power: the power to make a difference and enact change. Bystanders know about the progression of inappropriate behaviors or violence. They see something happening in person, hear about it from someone they care about, or view it online. They have that power to step in and prevent violence from escalating or from occurring in the first place.

Everyone can be proactive, learn how to recognize warning signs, prepare for what we might do in potentially high-risk situations, and then take ACTION when someone needs help.

Helping doesn't have to be a big thing. It could be a small thing that makes a difference. If everyone consistently does small things to help one another, those actions add up to make our community safer.

Confidential Help

The Sexual Assault Spouse Abuse Resource Center, Inc. (SARC)
24 Hour Help Line:

Make a Report

Title IX Coordinator
Jennie Towner
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness

Request a presentation

Fill out the SAVE Project
Presentation Request Form or contact us directly.
Katy Griffith,
Project Coordinator

Not sure what to do?

It is a very common experience to feel like you should help in a situation but something prevents you from taking action. You may feel afraid, you may not want to be wrong about the situation or get someone in trouble, others around you may not be acting like the situation is serious, or you may be unsure what steps to take safely.

That is why it is important to know that there are many ways to take ACTION depending on the situation. It’s okay to choose an option that is most realistic for you.

Each letter in the word ACTION provides different ways to intervene in a situation that involves sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, or stalking.

Assess the Situation

Assess if the situation is high risk and if it is better that you get help from someone in a position of authority, or if it is something that you could take a moment to intervene directly.

  • Take a moment to breathe. It's very common to feel afraid or freeze up because the situation reminds you of other intense experiences you have had.
  • Identify possible intervention strategies, resources, and support you may need as you help the people in the situation.

Check in

Talk to the person doing harm or experiencing harm about what is concerning you. When you are feeling unsure about whether harm is occurring, checking in to get more information is a really helpful solution.

  • Ask if the person is ok or if there is anything you can do to help.
  • Call people out. Say, "Hey, that’s not OK here," or "We don’t do that here."
  • Tell the person potentially doing harm or being harmed what you have observed and why you are concerned.

Tap someone in

Delegate to the people around you.

  • Ask a friend to have a tough conversation with you.
  • Work as a team with someone close by to try to separate folks who are arguing or are at risk of engaging in nonconsensual sex.

Interrupt or distract

Create an opportunity to deescalate a situation or to help someone get away from harm.

  • Break a few social rules. Do something random that can draw attention away from the situation.
  • Pretend that you are lost, drop or spill something, or make up an excuse to talk privately with the person being harmed.

Observe behavior

Identify concerning actions that you are witnessing so that you can tell someone else.

  • Write down license plate numbers or take note of what is happening.
  • Show the person doing harm that they are being watched. Sometimes a long, silent stare can make someone stop what they are doing.


Reach out to others for help. There are people in the spaces where the situation is happening that have authority to take action. There are also a lot of people in our campus community who are trained to help in situations of sexual assault , dating and domestic violence, and stalking.

  • Tell the host of a party or the owner of an establishment what is happening and that you need their help doing something about it.
  • Call The Sexual Assault Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SARC) for 24-hour confidential support at 410-836-8430.
  • Call campus Public Safety’s emergency 24-hour line at 443-412-2272.
  • Check out more options for reporting a situation in the Local Resources tab above.

We do not have to wait for the warning signs of violence to show up in our lives to be able to do something about it. We can let others know what we stand for by the way we talk, what we share in our conversations and on social media, and how we behave in our spaces.

At Harford Community College, we place a high value on helping one another. We hope that when someone new steps foot on our campus — either a new student, a new employee, or a visitor — that they will know violence is not tolerated here.

Take a moment to think about one of your spaces. This could be a physical space like your room, office, apartment, or house. Or perhaps it is a group that you belong to or a social media platform that you are connected with. The list below contains just a few of the things you can do right now to let others know that you care about keeping that space free from relationship violence.

Social media and communications

  • Follow national organizations like as @loveisrespect, @join1love, @mencanstoprape, @casadeesperanza and @NOMOREorg, and share content about the importance of healthy relationships.
  • Like and share a news story or a video about bystander intervention on the platforms that you are most active. Here are some examples:
  • Change your profile picture or background to support the prevention of relationship violence, such as in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2019)
  • Include an inspiring quote or something that expresses your values in the tagline of your email or away message.

Groups that you belong to

  • Host a discussion about a film, podcast, or book that explores topics related to sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, or stalking.
  • Organize a group to participate in community events hosted by SARC, such as Walk-a-Mile in Her Shoes®.
  • Request a presentation for your class or group gathering to learn more about taking ACTION in situations of potential harm.

Physical spaces

  • Decorate your office, room, laptop, or water bottle with messages that promote respect in relationships.
  • Contact the SAVE Project at to request a free prevention poster to hang in your space.

Below is a list of places that provide support to our campus community for those who are affected by sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.

Confidential options

Confidential national helplines

Reporting options

For more information


The Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE) Project is a collective of campus and community stakeholders who collaborate to determine the most effective, inclusive and evidence-based preventative practices. Our goal is to empower our campus community to take action to eradicate gender based violence.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2018-WA-AX-0021 by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Content on this page was developed from the following sources:

  1. Alteristic, Inc. (2019). Building an Effective Prevention Program Template. Campus Technical Assistance and Resource Project.
  2. Alteristic, Inc. (2019). Post-TTI Prevention Webinar: Building a Prevention Program Through Bystander Intervention. Campus Technical Assistance and Resource Project.
  3. EVERFI, Inc. (2019). Law Room Training: Harassment and Discrimination Prevention. EVERFI, Inc.
  4. Tabachnick, J. (2009). Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention. National Sexual Violence Resource Center.