Bystander intervention is one of the most effective ways to prevent sexual assault. An active bystander is someone who has the moral courage to find a way to safely intervene to stop a potentially dangerous situation. In a recent survey, of the 4 percent of Junior Enlisted respondents who observed a high-risk situation that they believed was or could have led to sexual assault, 86 percent intervened.*

Safety is Your Top Priority

Before jumping into a potentially dangerous situation, be smart and think about your own safety.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I keep myself safe in this situation?
  • What are all the options available?
  • Who else might be able to assist me?

Aside from safety in numbers, you may have more influence on the situation when you work together with someone else or even several people.

The 3 “D”s of Bystander Invention

Remember the 3 “D”s in your role as an active bystander: 

  • Direct:  Give commands or orders. 
  • Distract:  Draw away or divert attention.
  • Delegate:  Appoint someone else.

If you master the 3 “D”s, you will be better able to stop an assault when it’s time to take action!

Ways to Be an Active Bystander

Here are three ways that you can “step up” to stop sexual assault:

  • STEP UP to help someone who may be a target for sexual assault.
  • STEP UP to stop friends or others from becoming an offender.
  • STEP UP to either stop an assault in progress or intervene before the crime occurs.

Be aware of inappropriate touching, suggestive remarks, attempts to get someone alone, pressuring someone to drink, violent behavior, and targeting someone who is impaired.

Examples of Bystander Intervention

  • Direct: Point out threatening or inappropriate behavior in a safe, respectful manner.
  • Distract: Make up an excuse to help the friend get away from someone who might pose danger.
  • Delegate: Alert a bartender or party host that someone has had too much to drink.

To learn more about the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, click here.

Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute


Knowledge is extremely important to help prevent MST.  You must look at the big picture about this subject. The more you know the faster it will be to defend one another from being or becoming a victim.

Fellow service members must protect one another.

If you are targeted for a violent attack, you are guaranteed there will be one person there to defend you and that person is you…YOU are your best defense. You may or may not be able to prevent it. That does not mean giving up.  Instead, knowledge will help you. Learn Self Defense Methods.

Prevention aims to stop incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault before they occur. Prevention requires a comprehensive approach involving a range of activities. Everyone plays a part at the individual, peer group, unit, and Army community levels. Prevention protects the force and supports the implementation of the Army People Strategy, which describes how we Acquire, Develop, Employ, and Retain Talent.

The Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office  (SAPRO) is responsible for oversight of the Department’s sexual assault policy. SAPRO works hand-in-hand with the Services and the civilian community to develop and implement innovative prevention and response programs.

There is a study for Preventing Sexual Violence in the Military.  Here is the link to it.

Every member of the armed forces has one goal, which is to be a BAND OF BROTHERS whose duty is to protect one another.  With MST the protection is for the VICTIM, not the PERPETRATOR. 

Take AIM at MST.

EVERYONE in the military

is responsible for preventing MST.


You are my brother, my sister, my fellow Soldier. It is my duty to stand up for you, no matter the time or place. I will take ACTION. I will do what’s right. I will prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. I will not tolerate sexually offensive behavior. I will ACT.


When I recognize a threat to my fellow Soldiers, I will have the personal courage to INTERVENE and prevent sexual assault. I will condemn acts of sexual harassment. I will not abide by obscene gestures, language, or behavior. I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I will INTERVENE.


We are American Soldiers, MOTIVATED to keep our fellow Soldiers safe. It is our mission to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. We will denounce sexual misconduct. As Soldiers, we are all MOTIVATED to take action. We are counselings.