Learn how to be an active bystander, including speaking out if you witness concerning or harmful behaviour.
Call out disrespect
If you witness harmful or concerning behaviour, it’s normal to be nervous about calling it out.
Speaking up doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it doesn’t have to end in an argument or fight. Even if you aren’t sure whether someone is being intentionally harmful or inappropriate, or a bit careless, there are things you can do to encourage those around you to rethink their behaviour and comments. After all, if something seems a little off to you, chances are others are feeling the same way. Read the tips below and consider attending a Bystander Intervention workshop; where you will gain skills and confidence to call out disrespect using real life examples in a safe and friendly environment.
Calling out racism
- What can you do? (Racism. It stops with me.)
- Standing up to racism (Reach Out)
- Understanding your rights (Victoria Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission)
- Educating yourself about racism (Beyond Blue)
- Challenge your understanding of racism app (All Together Now)
- Choosing to act: Bystander action to prevent race-based discrimination (VicHealth)
- Complete the Overcoming Bias and Assumptions RMIT Micro Cred (Two hours)
Calling out disrespect online
Resources for calling out sexism and sexual harassment
- What does being a bystander mean? (Reach Out)
- 5 seemingly harmless things that are actually sexist (Reach Out)
- Calling out a friend on their sexist behaviour (ABC Everyday)
- What you can do if you see someone being sexually harassed at work (ABC Everyday)
- Violence against women: Let’s stop it at the start (Respect.gov.au)
- Doing nothing does harm (Our Watch)
- Responding to harassment on social media (Gender Equity Victoria)
- Respect Women: Call it out (Respect Victoria)
The Australia Human Rights Commission also investigates complaints of racism, discrimination and breaches of human rights. Their service is free, impartial and informal.