Vet Voices

What to do if you or someone you see is facing harassment in public?

Ohio County

Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF)- It’s possible you or someone you know will find themselves facing an uncomfortable situation, or as it is often known as, harassment.

If you can’t avoid it, the next best thing is to defend yourself, but how?

The reality of it is it can happen at any time, even if you’re just out and about. But you don’t have to be the person experiencing it to do something, so can a bystander.

If you or someone else is in an uncomfortable situation a person doesn’t give consent for, advocates call that harassment. A situation involving someone getting hit on can count too.

If that’s ever you, advocates say respond.

As someone in that situation, advocates say look for someone you trust. If you’re in a bar or a restaurant, go to a server, waiter, or a bouncer and tell them what’s going on. But if you’re a witness, advocates says don’t hesitate to speak up.

“I think it’s very serious that we help people within our world. That’s the purpose of being human engaging with people. We help each other, and if we want want someone to help us if it was a family member, we would want someone to help them. So, do what you can and do your part.”

Molly Holden, Wheeling YWCA Family violence prevention program director

If you’re the witness, advocates say you have several options to respond.

You can say something to a bouncer yourself or document it with your phone. You can even check up on the person experiencing it afterwards. Walking up to the situation is also an option.

If you have experienced a situation like this, advocates says there are support systems out there if you need it. Just call 1 (800) 698-1247. It’s a 24-hour crisis line.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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