The Three D’s of D.O.T Intervention: Direct, Distract, and Delegate


You may be wondering about how you can intervene if you see an incidence of violence happening or a situation has the potential for violence? You may have concerns for your own safety and welfare or perhaps being confrontational is not part of who you are. Part of the Green Dot philosophy is teaching bystanders how to intervene in a manner that is comfortable for them.

Direct: A direct intervention is exactly as it says; a bystander confronts a situation him or herself. For example, you may witness a situation developing with a friend and another person that looks like it may escalate so you step in and pull your friend out of the situation and walk him/her away. When safe, being direct is the most immediate way to intervene in a situation.

Distract: Perhaps you don’t want to address a situation directly then you can try to cause a distraction that will diffuse the situation and give a moment for things to calm down. Maybe you “accidentally” spill your drink or ask to borrow a cell phone from the person who is in the threatening situation. Sometimes that one break in a situation is all it takes to help someone out.

Delegate: If you can’t intervene directly in something because there is a barrier that makes you uncomfortable, then enlist some help. Ask friends to assist you or talk to a faculty or staff member. Maybe it means you need to call the police. Doing a Green Dot intervention does not mean you have to do it alone.