Disrupting the Bystander
When #MeToo Happens Among Friends
by A.V. Flox
We live in a society that confines survivors to silence. Our only avenues to address harm do little to prevent its recurrence. Trapped within a binary of silence or punishment, it's no wonder so many of us remain paralyzed even as disclosures of abuse continue. Punishment requires both certainty and authority, which most bystanders lack. But once the silence has been broken, we can't return to it. Few of us are strangers to the nagging feeling that arises within that paralysis. We intuit-- correctly-- that we have some kind of responsibility when harm happens in our communities, but what is it? And if we have responsibility, do we have rights?
Combining behavioral neuroscience and insights from those on the frontlines of harm intervention, Disrupting the Bystander helps us break out of paralysis so that we can best support those we love--whether they were hurt or hurt someone else.