Monday evening two Chatham county brothers, Joey and Freddie Shelton, were awarded a key to the city of Chapel Hill for thwarting the kidnapping of an 18 year old female jogger. The Sheltons noticed the woman being dragged to the kidnappers car. As they went to assist the young woman, her kidnapper released her and hit Joey with his car when attempting to escape. When the kidnapper fled, neighbor Melissa Williams got the license plate number and called the police alerting them of the crime. The heroic actions of these brothers and Ms. Williams helped save the life of a young woman. Their role as active bystanders played a huge part in making the community a safer place for everyone.
What can you do to be an active bystander?
1. Speak up if you see someone acting in an abusive way or saying hurtful things. Let them know their behavior isn’t okay.
2. Believe someone who discloses abuse to you. Listen, support them, and let them know that the abuse isn’t their fault.
3. If someone looks like they’re in trouble or a situation looks suspicious ask if the person is okay or if they need help.
4. Don’t laugh at racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes. Stand up to people who make these types of jokes and explain why it’s not okay to laugh at other people’s expense.
Actions like these can have dramatic effects on the health and safety of everyone. When you are an active bystander and supportive ally to victims of domestic abuse, you’ve taken a huge step in the prevention and eradication of violence in the community.