Uber and NO MORE kick off the 2023 #Don’tStandBy Campaign
As students start a new semester at colleges and universities across the country, it’s important to know that more than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in the first few months of school, August – November (RAINN). Students are at an increased risk during the first few months of their first and second semesters.
Enjoying college life and going out to a party, bar, or club should be fun AND safe. That’s why Uber and NO MORE are teaming up for the “Don’t Stand By” campaign to help stop sexual assault before it starts, encourage friends to look out for each other, and engage the nightlife community and drivers to be part of the solution.
Fifty-five percent of people who witness someone acting in a sexually violent or harassing manner do nothing. Anecdotally, we hear that that is most often because those witnesses or bystanders don’t know if it is their place to intervene and feel unsure of how to safely help.
We want to help change that statistic and raise awareness that we all have a role to play in trying to stop violence before it starts. The campaign is focused initially on sharing tips via social media and our #DontStandby website on how friends going out together can help keep each other safe. That includes simply watching out for one another, knowing how and when to intervene safely, and calling for support if a more dangerous situation arises. The website features downloadable gifs and posters to share across social media, on college campuses, in bars and clubs, or anywhere people gather.
We’re focusing now on the start of the new college semester, but this is an ongoing initiative, and it’s not just for students. Soon, we are planning an effort to help train the nightlife community – restaurant, bar, and club owners and staff – to learn how to recognize the signs of an unwanted advance, harassment, and assault and how best to respond to different types of situations and levels of danger.
This campaign was originally planned to launch a few years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The crisis brought new, urgent areas of focus. Gathering and social behaviors changed for a lot of people. But we know that sexual assault has persisted. According to our partner RAINN, every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. So it is imperative that we all step up our efforts.
Make no mistake. Going out and partying is not a cause of sexual or domestic violence. No one should ever use alcohol or drug consumption as an excuse for any physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal assault or abuse. Still, alcohol and drug consumption can sometimes exacerbate unhealthy relationships, issues of power and control, and other dangerous perceptions and behaviors. It is critical that we hold perpetrators accountable. But the more we are alert and watch out for each other, the more we may be able to stop the problem before it occurs or at least before it escalates.
We hope you will join us in helping to keep your friends and loved ones, customers and riders, safe from assault and abuse. You can learn more and take the pledge to #DontStandBy at dontstandby.org