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At Vidcon 2015, we sat down with Kat Blaque, Skittlez, and Lindsey Doe to talk about how bystanders can intervene in a potentially dangerous situation.

THIS WEEK'S CALL TO ACTION: What's a good way to disrupt an assault?

Here's more info on the Bystander Effect:

Engage by Uplift tackles the difficult issues surrounding sexual abuse that the YouTube and online communities face. We're starting real talk for real change.

Each week, our host Kat Lazo discusses abuse and how it manifests in virtual spaces. Watch and collaborate with us through weekly calls to action, and join in with some of your favorite YouTubers as they consider the issues in round table discussions.

Kat Blaque:
Lindsey Doe:

Hosted by Kat Lazo:

Directed by Kelly Kend:

Discussion questions by Katie Twyman

Real talk for Real Change. #EngageUplift
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Kat Lazo: Hi, everyone! I'm Kat, also know as TheeKatsMeoww, and welcome to another episode of "Engage" by Uplift. I'm here with Kat Blaque, Skittlez, and Lindsey Doe.

Lindsey Doe: Hello.

Kat Lazo: Today we'll be tackling bystander intervention. So, let's just dive right in. Knowing when to intervene is, like, really difficult, so what are some telltale signs that you should intervene?

Lindsey Doe: Your gut. That you feel in your body that you're afraid, then the other person experiencing whatever it is, is probably really scared too.

Kat Lazo: Why do you think it's so hard for people to intervene?

Lindsey Doe: Bystander effect: the more people that are in a room, or in a situation, the less likely people are to respond and intervene.

Skittlez: Coming from New York, it's real easy to kind of put your blinders on, and not, like, notice the people around you, because you're just, like, on the train, or on the go, or whatever.

Kat Lazo: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I remember a particular event in New York City on a train, and it was pretty crowded, and there was this guy who just whipped it out and started masturbating. But to me, specifically, I felt very helpless. I froze.

Kat Lazo: And then, I just remember like scanning the rest of the train and being like, with my eyes basically, saying, like, help, and not one people looked up, looked at me, and were like, "oh my." 

Lindsey Doe: I think people think they're suppose to say something to the perpetrator, and I don't think that that has to be the case. I think you can be loud, and just talk in general to get more attention on the situation. But most of us carry cellphones at this point, and to get on the phone and talk it out with someone else to say, "something is going on here, and I don't feel good about it."

Skittlez: So, whenever I see one of my girl friends being in an interaction that isn't safe, I try to buck up. Throw all the gay out and just, like, you know, use my size as a tool to help that out.

Kat Lazo: But if maybe it's a sketchy situation, maybe with a friend that you don't know that's, like, a safe interaction, I always find that you can go up to that individual. Something that I like to do is ask for the time. I know it sounds like really funny and I understand that we, like, most of us have phones with the time on it, but, like, just do anything that can cause a moment or a disruption.

Kat Blaque: Yeah. I was gonna say, like, just something as simple as, like, "Oh, are you okay? How are you?" Just, like, tryin' to break it up. I think I'm very wary of people jumping in and being very aggressive. You never know how that can go. I feel like I've seen some situations where I've wanted to speak up, but I don't know how that's gonna go for me. I mean, that's probably bad that I... like, "Oh my god, what's gonna happen? Like, are they gonna hurt me?" You know.

Kat Lazo: Are there other approaches that come to mind?

Lindsey Doe: People often, umm, they'll do the trick of pretending that they know that person a lot better. Like saying, "Oh yeah, hey let's go get a burger!" or something like that. "Honey, are you ready to go?" and pretending to be their partner and whisking them away.

Kat Blaque: It's almost like doing something is better than nothing. You know, maybe you're wrong. Maybe you misread the situation. Maybe they're okay. But, maybe that's not..maybe it wasn't gonna be that way.

Lindsey Doe: I guess I am such a huge advocate for going with action rather than inaction.

Skittlez: I know a lot of videos are going viral because they're filming things that are going on on the train, and I'm wondering how that could possibly be a way to be bystander intervention maybe.

Kat Lazo: Have you ever been in a situation where you yourself were in trouble, and kind of wished that someone would intervene?

Skittlez: Once I turned 16, guys on the train would cruise, and so what they do is, like, they'll have their...penis all erect, and they'll try and persuade you to either get off with them, and go with them, or do something on the train right there. The first time it ever happened to me, he followed me from the Bronx to the steps of my high school. And I was just was terrifying!

Kat Blaque: Street harassment, for me, is a big issue on many levels, and that's kind of one of those situations where it's like, I wish someone would say something because it's so blatant, and it's so out there, that it's like.. I don't know how anyone could see that this man I don't know who's following me down the street and has been doing so for blocks ..that I'm not interested in that. How do you not see that? And there's been so many times where especially, if you know how street  works, like, you ignore them, then you've got a group of men calling you a whore, "you're a slut. You're a this. You're a that." And I'm like, how are we in a situation where people aren't turning to them and being like, "Hey, dude. Don't say that."

Kat Lazo: And I'd like to give some credit to Femenista Jones who has a hashtag: #YouOkSis. And I think that's one of the most important things we can do as bystanders, is at the very least if you have witnessed an entire interaction, can you please go up to the person who has just been assaulted or harassed and ask them if they're okay? Because that brings a lot of humanity to someone, you know? Thank you so much again for speaking up and lending your voices to this.

 Outro (5:41)

Alright, that's it for this week. Thank you so much watching. Don't forget to answer the call to action. Use the hashtag #EngageUplift on social media or just leave a comment down below. And while you're at it, give this video a thumbs-up if you found it helpful, and subscribe, 'cause, uhh..why not? Alright. Thank you so much for watching. I'm Kat Lazo with TheeKatsMeoww. Bye!