George's Heroes

George's Heroes is a new bystander intervention campaign utilizing the Revolution for Courageous Leadership, created by Mike Dilbeck, founder of the Response Ability Project - a widely known and respected bystander intervention program. The focus and goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of bystander behavior(s) and ways in which individuals can become active participants in their communities- essentially becoming "George's Heroes" in the community around them.

George’s Heroes is intended to raise general awareness of and attention to community actions while recognizing every day GW heroes who exhibit exceptional behavior. All members of the GW community will be able to share stories of those making a difference and/or situations where exceptional behavior was witnessed.

The Colonial Health Center believes that every colonial counts, and that applies to all members of the GW community. Intervening in potentially harmful social situations can be difficult, but it can be the action it takes to save someone's life.

Learn more about GW's Alcohol Medical Amnesty program and Good Samaritan statement.

To request a George's Heroes program or to learn more information about future programs, email us at CHCOutreach@gwu.edu

What is a Bystander?

A bystander is someone who doesn’t act when he/she sees something happening.

What are the barriers that keep bystanders from acting?  

  1. Social Influence: Being influenced by the external factors/external behaviors in a social situation.
  2. Fear of Embarrassment: Not wanting to call attention to yourself or be singled out by being the one to speak up.
  3. Diffusion of Responsibility: Believing that someone else will do something.
  4. Fear of Retaliation: Being afraid of emotional or physical harm that may come as a result of speaking up.
  5. Pluralistic Ignorance: Thinking you must be the only one feeling this way.

Tools for Bystander Intervention

  • Target problem
  • Be present, being aware, and think from your values
  • Distinguish a problem as a problem, not "just the way it is" and "just the way life is."

Transcend Barriers

Three possible thoughts to transcend or go beyond:

  • "No one else is doing anything, it must not be a problem."
  • "It’s not my job – someone else will do (or say) something."
  • "I am scared of what might happen if I do (or say) something."

Take Action!

This doesn’t require a big action with high drama and emotion.

  • Call GWPD:
    • Foggy Bottom campus - (202) 994-6111
    • Mount Vernon campus - (202) 242-6111
    • Off-campus - call 911
  • Have a conversation
  • Change the subject
  • Confront directly, if needed

Be safe. Be responsible. And, take some kind of action – big or small – to make the difference in the situation and for those impacted.

Use these campus resources for help:

GW Police Department: (202) 994-6111 (Foggy Bottom) or (202) 242-6111 (Mount Vernon)
Sexual Assault Response Consultative team:  (202) 994-7222
Mental Health Services: (202) 994-5300, option 2
Health Promotion and Prevention Services: (202) 994-5300, option 4

Alcohol Overdose:

If a friend exhibits these symptoms, they are experiencing an overdose and need help IMMEDIATELY:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting while unconscious or semiconscious
  • Signs of Hypothermia
    • Cold, clammy skin
    • Blue lips or fingers
  • Slow Breathing
    • Less than eight breaths per minute

Check

  • Keep an eye on your friend throughout the night.
  • If you are worried, look for the any of the signs of alcohol overdose.

Call

  • If you see any of the signs of alcohol overdose, call GWPD at (202) 994-6111 if on campus, or call 911 if off campus.


Care

  • Never leave your friend alone.
  • Turn them on their side in case they vomit.

DO NOT

  • Induce vomiting.
  • Give them food or drink.
  • Put them in a shower.