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Got Your Back! UMD

Got Your Back! UMD


Got Your Back! UMD

is a bystander intervention program that encourages EVERYONE to notice harmful situations around them EVERYDAY, and to take the steps to safely and effectively intervene. TOGETHER, we can create a safe place at UMD and positively shape the culture that we learn and work in. If you are interested in getting involved and learning more, please contact Dori Decker at, or visit our calendar of events for campus workshops.



Inspired by the StepUp! Bystander Intervention Program at the University of Arizona, Founded by Becky Bell.


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Read the homepage story

How GOT YOUR BACK! UMD came to be

In the spring of 2013, UMD’s Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity sent out a call for grant proposals that would initiate programming on campus that supports goal 2 of UMD’s Strategic Plan. Goal 2 serves to “Create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity and social justice”.  Health Services staff responded to the call with a proposal to bring the StepUp! Bystander Intervention Program Train the Trainer Webinar to campus.  The proposal was awarded the UMD Equity Education and Diversity Grant Funds, and on May 8, 2013, thirty three campus community members (students, staff and faculty) attended the training, representing 22 campus units, student organizations and academic departments.  Each participant in the webinar committed to carrying forward the message of bystander intervention in the 2013-2014 academic year and beyond. 

Vision, Mission, and Goals for GOT YOUR BACK! UMD


The vision for the bystander intervention initiative at UMD is to create a program which further supports UMD in its efforts to create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity and social justice (Goal 2).


The mission of Got Your Back! UMD is to create a culture of actualized shared responsibility and individual action in challenging unjust and hurtful words, behaviors and attitudes, or simply to help someone in need; action that in turn serves to create a safe, positive and inclusive campus climate for all.


The Goals of the bystander intervention program are:

1. To increase awareness and knowledge that supports noticing events and interpreting events as a problem.

2. To deliver tools and strategies that inform safe and effective intervention in problematic events.

3. To build confidence and motivion that supports taking personal responsibility to act.

Strategies to support the vision:

  1. The bystander intervention TRAIN THE TRAINER WEBINAR will empower and equip UMD students, staff and faculty leaders across campus who participated in the webinar directly, to begin the momentum for intervention, and to cause a shift in positivity and inclusivity on campus.  By incorporating our version of the StepUp! Program on campus, UMD is making a statement that it recognizes the importance of each individual being sensitive to and taking action on issues of equity, diversity and social justice.   Bystanders have an important role to play in the learning and working climate at UMD. Leaders on campus have a responsibility to shape a positive environment for students and employees; what we say and do can shape this environment.
  2. Train the trainer workshops will be provided periodically (approximately every three years) to interested faculty, staff and students, as funding allows.
  3. The TRAINERS will commit to at least one bystander intervention presentation, each semester.  If each trainer presents to an average of 20 people each semester, in one year, we will have the potential to reach 1320 campus community members, or roughly 12% of the campus population. 
  4. UMD Health Services and the PEER HEALTH EDUCATORS will provide on-going campus programming as a part of their annual outreach. Health Services aims to reach approximately 2200 students each year, focusing on incoming students.
  5. Faculty will be encouraged to incorporate bystander intervention topics into course CURRICULA, further defining the important role we all can play in social justice – one observation, one action, one word, at a time.

As students, staff and faculty across campus learn and practice intervention tools and strategies, UMD will see bystander intervention become the SOCIAL NORM.  The social norm of taking responsibility for each other, and in the process, educating about unjust attitudes and actions, will advance equity, diversity and social justice by creating a welcoming and safe climate for all (Goal 2!).

Topics covered in GOT YOUR BACK! UMD Bystander Intervention workshops and classroom presentations

1. Introduction to Got Your Back! UMD and Bystander Intervention

2. Common Barriers to intervening

3. The 5 steps to intervention
                        a. Notice the event
                        b. Interpret it as a problem
                        c. Assume personal responsibility
                        d. Know how to help
                        e. Take action

4. Intervention styles

5. Tips for successful intervention

6. Strategies for intervention (direct and indirect)

7. Scenario/group work

8. Conclusion

GOT YOUR BACK! UMD and other bystander intervention initiatives across campus

The following activities are just some of the examples of what is happening across campus to share the bystander intervention message and to deliver intervention strategies to students, staff and faculty:


  1. Bulldog Welcome Week (freshmen orientation) workshop about bystander intervention.
  2. Bystander intervention scenarios included in mandatory online modules about alcohol and sexual assault for first year students at UMD (EverFi).
  3. Got Your Back! UMD float representation in the UMD Homecoming Parade.
  4. Sidewalk stenciling and posters to create awareness of the program.
  5. Wristbands with branding are handed out during presentations with the “challenge” to each participant to pass along the wristband to someone they see intervening.
  6. Inclusion of the bystander intervention scenarios in health education presentations specific to alcohol overdose and the prevention of sexual assault (approximately 50 presentations this semester alone.)
  7. GOT YOUR BACK! UMD presentations in classrooms and as a campus-wide workshop.
  8. Incorporation of social responsibility/bystander intervention scenarios and discussions in classroom lectures.
  9. WRAC: Presentations to fraternities and other campus units about bystander intervention and the prevention of sexual assault.
  10. An interdepartmental initiative, “UMD stands up to Hazing”, includes: YouTube video, wristbands, tabling, and pledging.
  11. UMD Safety video on YouTube that includes bystander intervention in its message.
  12. Presentations by peer educators to deliver the bystander intervention message, and to raise awareness of media influences on normalizing a culture of violence and drug/alcohol abuse.
  13. Follow-up meeting with trainers to share successes, resources, ideas and to build forward momentum.
  14. UMD Homepage story in 2014.
  15. Webpage developed, allong with "share your story" initiative
  16. Media exposure, Fox News.
  17. Commission on Women grant, Jan. 2014, to support additional programming on campus: wristbands for distribution across campus, t-shirts for trainers, and presentations.
  18. Peer to peer bystander intervention workshop, March 2014. (Commission on Women, Health Services and the Peer Health Educators).
  19. Bystander intervention workshop specific to emotional abuse in intimate partner relationships, April 10, 2014.
  20. Bystander intervention awareness during the “enough is enough” campaign in April 2014.
  21. Peer to peer bystander intervention workshop, May, 2014.


  1. Presentation about Got Your Back at the regional Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) leadership meeting.
  2. Inclusion of Got Your Back!UMD in the 360 Safe presentation to all incoming Freshmen.
  3. Got Your Back Presentation at Bulldog Welcome Week 2014.
  4. Campus presentations (5) in fall semester 2014 to students, staff and faculty.
  5. Inclusion of the bystander intervention scenarios in health education presentations specific to alcohol overdose and the prevention of sexual assault. (approximately 60 this year)
  6. Campus presentations (4) in spring semester 2015 to students, staff and faculty, including a workshop during "enough is enough" week.
  7. Presented Got Your Back at Wellbeing Wednesday on April 15, 2015.
  8. Got Your Back was presented to 2200+ members of our campus community in 2014-2015.
  9. During this academic year, EverFi identified bystander intervention programming as a best practice for sexual assault prevention and alcohol harm reduction.

Share your GOT YOUR BACK! UMD experience

Please help us spread the word about bystander intervention by sharing a story about how you were able to help someone, or when you saw someone step up for someone else.
We will post the stories on our website. Please indicate whether or not we can include your name with the post. Email the information below to

Thanks for Steppin’ Up!

1. Name (write in anonymous if you prefer)
2. Your story (please refrain from using the identities of others)

Read about "Random Acts of Intervention" by UMD Students

My Team and I were participating in a tournament. The tournament lasted for four hours. By the end, my teammate (who has diabetes, and we didn’t know it) was getting really sick. My teammate drove in my car with a throbbing headache. The team captain asked what was wrong and upon finding out sped to the nearest gas station and bought orange juice and tons of crackers with her own money, fed my fellow teammate, and asked for no money in return. It is for this reason I gave my team captain a “Got Your Back” wristband. -Anonymous

Request a bystander intervention presentation

Email Dori Decker


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Last modified on 11/03/15 11:00 AM
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