One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

Think Before You Click: Protecting Your Fellow Image-Bearers

Think Before You Click: Protecting Your Fellow Image-Bearers

Girl clicking on cell phoneAs we increasingly experience life through our online communities, we need to remember Jesus’ calling to love our neighbor as ourselves. Everyone on our social is our neighbor! Sexual harassment and abuse in our online spaces have dramatically increased. As image-bearers we cannot see online abuse as normal or less serious than what may happen in person. We each have the ability and voice to create a safe and respectful online space. But we must use it!

If you notice someone being harassed or abused in an online space, use bystander intervention methods to Speak Up! for those who are experiencing online harassment and abuse. Four methods* that allow you to intervene without direct confrontation are:


  • Create a distraction to interrupt or divert attention away from a situation.
  • Give everyone something else to focus on! Flood the post with positive replies, encouragement for the person being harassed, heart-warming GIFs, funny cat videos, etc.
  • Use the tools of the platform to minimize the reach of the harassing comments; enlist friends to “downvote” on Yik Yak, report content to the platform, etc.


  • Online harassment is bigger than what one person can manage, so engage with others who can help.
  • Report the harassment to the platform where it is happening.
  • Ask others to also report the harassment — more reports increase the chance the content will be removed.
  • Have your friends help you give encouragement to the person being harassed.
  • Reach out to Student Development, Campus Security, or the TIX Office for support.


  • Reach out to the person being harassed and check in with them.
  • Send encouraging messages to them.
  • Ask if they want support or help in reporting the harassment.
  • Respect their wishes for how to handle the harassment.
  • Provide local or national resources for them.


  • Create documentation of the harassment — prior to reporting it to the platform.
  • Take screenshots or photos of every instance of harassment, especially threats.
  • Organize the evidence and include details like dates and platforms it was posted on. You can then send the folder to the person who is being harassed.
  • Use a platform such as HeartMob to have the harassment documented.

by Shannon Berkheiser
Title IX Coordinator
Cedarville University

Cedarville University's Title IX office seeks to create a safe place for all students on campus.

*These methods are taken from The Five Ds of Bystander Intervention from the Step UP! Program offered by University of Arizona. Further information provided by the national SAAM Campaign.

Posted in Title IX

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