Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Resistance: How to Help Someone Being Harassed

One of the most moving sections of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Tel Aviv is the Avenue of Righteous Gentiles.  Outside the museum are rows of trees, each one dedicated by name to a non-Jew who risked her life to protect Jews - often complete strangers - from the Nazis.

It's not just history. It's instructions. It starts with refusing to avert your eyes and pretend it has nothing to do with you.

Think Progress:

Trump’s election emboldened people who hold racist, anti-immigrant, and Islamophobic views. Since November 8, there’s been an uptick in reported harassment and hate attacks against marginalized groups all over the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted more than 400 hate incidents in the first week after the election alone. Two weeks later, that number jumped to 700.

Some Americans feel helpless in the face of what’s happening to the country. But, if you witness one of these attacks, there are ways to intervene.

Collective Action for Safe Spaces and Think Progress have collected some tools so you can help, if you feel that you can do so safely.

Watch the video above to learn more.

HARASSER 1: Speak English. You’re in America.
HARASSER 2: Black lives don’t matter. There ain’t no proof.
HARASSER 3: She’s a Middle Eastern terrorist and she will probably get deported.
JESSICA RAVEN, Collective Action for Safe Spaces: It’s 2017 and people are scared, but sometimes, as a bystander, there are ways that you can help.

Here are 4 ways you can be an active bystander and respond to harassment:

1. Be Direct

Talk to the target
KRYSTAL ATHA, Collective Action for Safe Spaces: Are you okay?
Do you need help?
RAVEN: Or the harasser.
ATHA: What are you doing?
It looks like they don’t want to talk.

2. Distract

Divert attention away from the situation by distracting the harasser or the target.
ATHA: Do you know what time it is?
Excuse me, where’s the nearest metro?
RAVEN: Or, if you feel safe, use your body to create a physical barrier between the harasser and their target.

3. Delegate

If you don’t feel safe, you can find someone who does.
ATHA: Does the target have friends nearby?
Is there someone who works there?

4. Delay

If you can’t intervene in the moment, offer support to the target after the incident.
ATHA: Is there anything I can do to help?
You deserve to be treated with respect.

RAVEN: These are some of the many strategies for responding to harassment as an active bystander.

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