Active bystanding is key to protecting children from sexual abuse.

What is Active Bystanding? A “bystander” is a person who witnesses a boundary violation or sees a situation in which to protect children. An Active Bystander is someone who does something about it. Bystanders can play a major role in keeping kids safe by acting when they see a child who needs help. Intervening or taking preventative measures as a bystander can mean the difference between a child being sexually abused or being protected from abuse.

Protecting Children Through Active Bystanding

Describe the behavior. Set a limit. Move on.

Always make sure the person who has violated the boundary is willing to follow the limit you’ve set.

Go beyond theoretical knowledge and learn practical skills for protecting children. In this training you will learn how to be an active bystander in child sexual abuse prevention and response. You will receive examples of boundary violations and inappropriate behaviors, and how you can make spontaneous and planned interventions that reinforce boundaries and protect children. This training builds on the education provided in Stewards of Children®, Darkness to Light’s evidence-based training on preventing, recognizing, and reacting responsibly to child sexual abuse. It is highly recommended that participants complete Stewards of Children® prior to taking the course.

Available both online or as an in-person session delivered by an authorized Darkness to Light Facilitator, the training is also available in a Spanish-language version hosted by psychologist and CNN medical contributor Dr. Maris Azaret.


During the training, you will hear compelling stories from experts and survivors about being an active bystander. You will also:

  • learn what it means to be an active bystander.
  • learn what actions you can take as an active bystander.
  • receive examples of boundary violations and red flag behaviors.
  • learn how to make spontaneous and planned interventions.


Darkness to Light is proud to offer this bystander training, which includes:

  • stories from featured survivors, experts, youth serving professionals, and parents.
  • a course worksheet designed to help reinforce key concepts and serve as a resource guide on bystander intervention.
  • interactive discussion about important issues in sexual abuse prevention and how they affect communities and youth serving organizations (facilitator-led only).
  • knowledge checks (online only).

Bystanders Protecting Children from Boundary Violations Sexual Abuse is $5 per person and can be taken in-person or accessed online at any time. The training can also be purchased as a part of the Stewards Plus package.

“Sometimes we have to understand that doing the right thing is not always doing the easy thing.”

Youth Serving Professional, Stewards of Children