Monday, September 11, 2017

Muscle Memory works for Bystander Intervention

In case anyone ever wonders, apparently adrenalized muscle memory works on bystander intervention as well.

I was walking with my partner downtown during Lalapalooza and we were walking behind a female and male (they seemed like tourists) when an intoxicated guy started moving toward the female, mumbling something and then reached out to touch her. She kept trying to shrink away toward the male she was with who was staring in shock and confusion.  I honestly don't know how I responded so fast and without thinking.  I started yelling at the guy reaching for her and got in between him and her and got rid of him.  She was scared and thanked me.  

I was surprised at how without thinking I started yelling at him to move away and not touch her. I was just so angry that he thought he could attempt that. So, adrenalized muscle memory works for bystander intervention.  And I hope she could see there were other options to her in the future as well.

I know one of the options for bystander intervention for harassment to decrease violence is to begin to talk to the person being harassed and deprive the person of attention so they go away.  There just wasn't time when he was already reaching for her.  

Sarah Grove
IMPACT graduate 

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