The UNCW S.O.A.R. Approach to Bystander Intervention

At UNCW each member of our community is expetced to be an engaged and supprotive bystander to those in need. Personal safety is everyone's responsibility and becuase Seahawk Nation is supportive of reducing and eliminating violence on our campus and community, we have developed a simple model to engage bystanders in pro-social ways to help keep our community safe. The S.O.A.R. model:

See a Problem

Overcome Obstacles

Assume Responsibility


Just be sure you do SOMETHING!

Personal Safety Tips

Most of us are aware of safety tips that may help to protect us from violence from strangers such as:

  • inform those we trust about our whereabouts
  • observe our surroundings carefully
  • guard against giving identifying information to strangers, including Facebook, Twitter, Instgram, and other social media
  • buying and protecting our own drinks
  • staying connected with our friends

However, we are much more likely to be assaulted by someone we know. In those more commons situations, it is important to:

  • pay attention to any internal warning signs or "gut" reactions
  • be clear about our emotional and physical boundaries
  • avoid the excessive use of alcohol or other drugs
  • choose to exit situations whenever you feel anxious, even if you fear looking foolish or losing an argument
  • give yourself permission to put your needs first.

None of these suggestions are meant to imply that victims can cause or control the violence aimed at them by assailants. Victims do not cause violence aimed at them by assailants. Victims do not cause violence- abusers do. If you are assaulted or abused, you did not cause that act nor could you control it. However, you can get help to cope with the aftermath of an assault. Remind yourself of how you would respond if the violence had happened to your best friend. Treat yourself as you would a good friend:

  • get help for yourself
  • congratulate yourself for surviving
  • treat yourself gently
  • make whatever changes you need in order to feel safe
  • use UNCW resources to clarify your choices.

"Red Zone" Safety Training for New Students

The most likely time for a college student to be a victim of violent crime is during the first 6 weeks of their first year on a new campus. Inexperience, distraction, exposure to a new environment, and an unfamiliarity of risks are all contributing factors to the danger.

We call this period of time the "Red Zone" for first year students. To help ensure our students are as safe as possible, we've adopted an online training course for students to take prior to their matriculation. To view and participate in this program, please click the link below.




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