MODULE FIVE: BEING AN ALLY
This Module discusses being an ally and how to support all peers who may be experiencing teen dating violence. This module builds on the previous module which set the foundation for nonviolent bystander intervention. The discussions in this module will remind participants of what power is, explain the concept of allies, bystanders, and non-violent ways to intervene. It will confirm their understanding through interaction and application to real world scenarios regarding healthy ways to engage in bystander intervention.
- Participants will define power, bystanders, and allies.
- Participants will identify and practice non-violent ways for bystander intervention.
- Sign-In Sheet
Activity One: Defining Power. Bystanders. and Allies
Activity Two: Allies and Bystanders
- Chart Paper
- Laminated Information Card
- Bystander and Ally Cards
Activity Three: First Followers and Social Change
- The First Follower film
- DVD Player
Activity Four: Speaking Out
- Dating Violence Continuum Cards
- Group Process Notes
(INTRODUCTION: 5 MINUTES)
Have the participants sign in. Ask the participants how their week is going. Review agreements established during Module One.
State that this session will focus on bystander intervention.
ACTIVITY ONE: DEFINING POWER, BYSTANDERS AND ALLIES (10 MINUTES)
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO INTRODUCE THE IDEA OF BYSTANDERS AND ALLIES.
Ask the participants:
- What is a bystander?
- What is an ally?
- What is bystander intervention?
Brainstorm a definition of bystanders and allies together.
Ask if anyone knows what a bystander is. Accept and record all of their responses. Bystanders are people who see or know about a problem or incident.
Ask participants to define allies and record their responses on the flip chart or white board. Allies are bystanders who make positive, helpful choices.
Ask participants to review the definition of violence that was used in the first meeting. “Violence is anything that denies human integrity and leads to hopelessness and helplessness.” – Dr. Martin Luther King.
Each of us has individual power. We have the ability to influence others and to act. Allies are people who use their power in a positive way to help when they witness an unhealthy or inappropriate behavior as a bystander. We can use our power as allies to promote healthy relationship behaviors.
ACTIVITY TWO: ALLY/BYSTANDER CARDS
Give each participant at least one of the Ally/Bystander cards. Instruct them that they have to decide if the action that is on the card is that of an Ally or a Bystander. Guide the discussion and provide clarity as needed. If appropriate, share your personal experiences.
- Asks questions about the history and culture of groups (Ally)
- Hears someone being racist and walks away (Bystander)
- Sees someone harassing someone else and looks the other way (Bystander)
- Sees a conflict (Bystander)
- Listens openly (Ally)
- Overhears an offensive joke and does nothing (Bystander)
- Risks discomfort when they hear others being hurtful (Ally)
- Risking discomfort means intervening when uncomfortable or it is socially risky.
- Makes friends with “all kinds” of people (Ally)
- Sees someone being bullied (Bystander)
- Willing to examine their own privilege (Ally)
- Clarity may include reviewing the definition of privilege.
- Interrupts prejudice behavior and takes non-violent action, even if those being targeted aren’t present (Ally)
- Takes responsibility if they make a mistake (Ally)
- Participants may need clarity connecting personal responsibility to ally behaviors. If someone blames the other group or does not think they are inappropriate that is not ally behavior.
- Hears one classmate call another person a homophobic name (Bystander)
- Seeks out adults who can help when violence is happening (Ally)
- Knows resources for friends or peers who need help (Ally)
ACTIVITY THREE: FIRST FOLLOWERS AND SOCIAL CHANGE (10 MINUTES)
THE PURPOSE IS TO DISCUSS THE “POWER IN NUMBERS” AND HOW TO CREATE COMMUNITIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE.
Show The First Follower film. Link the conversation of bystanders and allies to the film by facilitating a conversation with participants using the discussion questions below.
- How does this film relate to our discussion about bystanders and allies?
We each have the ability to act and make change. As allies we can create a movement for change.
- Using the “lone nut” dancing man as an example, how can we use our power as an ally to influence others?
Responses may include, but not be limited to: by being role models for healthy behavior; .by speaking up when we see violent behavior instead of pretending we don’t see It at all; by raising awareness and promoting education about healthy relationships and non-violence in general.
We can use our power as allies to create change that promotes non-violence and social justice. Social justice is the idea of creating a society based on the principles of equality and solidarity that understands and values human rights, and recognizes the dignity of every human being. You explored what you felt your rights and boundaries were as an individual in your relationships. This idea extends those rights beyond you as an individual and ensures everyone’s rights and boundaries are respected.
In preparation for the next activity, write the definition of social justice on the board/poster board. Social justice is the ability people have to realize their potential in the society where they live to lead a fulfilling life and be active contributors to their community. Regarding teen dating violence, only a small number of boys/men abuse their partners. It is the responsibility of those who don’t abuse their partner to hold the abusive boys/men accountable. This can be done though non-violent intervention.
- How is bystander intervention, or being an ally, connected to social justice?
Bystander intervention, or being an ally, is the way that we create social justice for everyone in our communities; by standing up and doing what is right for others.
Relationships are complicated. Those abused may feel ashamed, trapped, or that they may be judged if they disclose what is happening. Relationships are personal and because of this it is difficult for others to be allies. We also each have different boundaries and ideas about what are acceptable behaviors in relationships.
ACTIVITY FOUR: SPEAKING OUT (15 MINUTES)
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO ALLOW PARTICIPANTS TO PRACTICE RESPONDING TO DIFFERENT SITUATIONS.
Read from the Dating Violence Continuum cards aloud, one at a time. State that participants should react and respond as if they have witnessed the behaviors in real life.
Facilitate a discussion around what participants’ responses would be to the behaviors they identify.
Guide participants as needed toward appropriate responses. Review the sample student responses and suggested responses below:
PARTICIPANTS RESPOND WITH VIOLENCE
If a participant responds, “I would jump in and beat him up,” walk them through the consequences. For instance, the person who is abusive might stop then, but the survivor* may be punished later. Also, they risk getting in trouble along with the person who is abusive. Try to point out the positive aspects of their response (you should speak up when you see unhealthy behavior) while suggesting appropriate responses and interventions (discussing with the survivor when the person who is abusive is not around or reaching out to a trusted adult).
*The words victim and survivor can be used interchangeably. For purposes of this curriculum survivor is the preferred term.
PARTICIPANTS RESPOND BY YELLING AT THE ABUSIVE PARTNER
While it is important for someone to know they may be engaging in an unhealthy behavior, it is not appropriate to yell at anyone. Yelling at the person who is abusive may cause the violence to escalate for the survivor. You may also get in trouble. If the survivor is in an immediate danger, tell both people to seek help from a trusted adult. However, if the survivor is not in immediate danger, the ally may consider waiting until they can speak with the survivor in private to express concern for them. Confronting the person who is abusive could be dangerous and may put the survivor at increased risk.
PARTICIPANTS SAY THEY WOULD DO NOTHING
Standing by in silence may be perceived as condoning or indirectly supporting the unhealthy behavior. It may also make the survivor feel like the behavior is acceptable to others and may reinforce the idea they should not seek help. If participants don’t feel comfortable speaking to the survivor directly or if they have an immediate concern for the survivor’s safety, they should talk to a trusted adult.
Explain that any time you feel someone is in immediate danger of being harmed or you are concerned for their overall safety, immediately talk to a trusted adult. You should tell your friend you are concerned for their safety and offer to go with them to speak to a supportive adult if possible. You can also support them by offering to listen when they need to talk.
PARTICIPANTS SAY THEY WOULD TALK TO AN ADULT
This is a positive response. Ask participants to describe more about which adults they consider safe to talk to. Discuss how would reach out to these adults.
- You’re at your desk early before class starts working on last night’s homework when a guy in your class comes in and starts calling a girl (who is also in the classroom early) names.
- While you are hanging out with your friends, your buddy texts his girlfriend non-stop and is getting mad because she is not responding.
- When your friends dating partner told him that she wanted to break up, he told her that he can’t live without her and that if she breaks up with him it will push him over the edge. You hear him tell her over the phone that he won’t be able to control what happens next if the two of them break up.
- You’re eating lunch in the cafeteria. A girl at the table you’re sitting with starts yelling at her boyfriend in front of everyone.
- One of the guys on your sports team is mad. He tells you that a guy in his girlfriend’s class posted a comment on her Facebook wall. The comment said, “Thanks for all your help at the Science Fair, I really enjoyed working with you!”
- Your brother signed into his dating partners Facebook account and found out that she has been messaging with an ex.
- A guy you know at school tells you that when his girlfriend refused to delete a friend of hers from her Facebook profile, he told her that it was either him or her friend. She had to choose.
- In the hall you see two people that are dating. They are having an argument and you see the guy get close to the girls face and yells at her. He blocks her from leaving the area. Then he grabs her phone out of her hand and throws it.
- You’re walking home after a game and you see a guy from school grab a girl by the arm and tell her to, “Do what he says!”
- You’re at a restaurant with friends. When the server walks away from the table to get your drink orders, one of the guys in your group makes a comment about her body.
- You have a group of friends. Whenever you all try to hang out, one of your female friends always has to leave because her dating partner gets upset and tells her how much he needs to see her right now.
Remind participants that today you explored power, what it means to be an ally, and bystander intervention. Ask participants if they know how to help a friend who may be in an unhealthy relationship.
PEAK AND PIT OF THE SESSION: (5 MINUTES)
As part of the closing you will to ask the group members what was the peak and the pit of the session. Record a summary of their answers in the Group Process Notes.
HANDOUTS AND ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: MODULE FIVE
Bystander and Ally Cards
- Asks questions about the history and culture of groups
- Hears someone being racist and walks away
- Sees someone harassing someone else and looks the other way
- Sees a conflict
- Listens openly
- Overhears an offensive joke and does nothing
- Risks discomfort when they hear others being hurtful
- Makes friends with “all kinds” of people
- Sees someone being bullied
- Willing to examine their own privilege
- Interrupts prejudice behavior and takes non-violent action, even if those being targeted aren’t present
- Takes responsibility if they make a mistake
- Hears one classmate call another person a homophobic name
- Seeks out adults who can help when violence is happening
- Knows resources for friends or peers who need help
Dating Violence Continuum Cards
- Module One: What’s Up?
- Module Two: Who Has the Power?
- Module Three: Healthy Relationships
- Module Four: Dynamics of Teen Dating Violence and How to Help a Friend
- Module Five: Being an Ally
- Module Six: Boundaries
- Module Seven: How We Feel, How We Deal
- Module Eight The Man Box
- Module Nine: Creating a Community Tool
- Module Ten: What can you Do?
- Mentor’s Toolbox