Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured titles, special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Subscribe to receive special offers, monthly books suggestions, seasonal selections, and more!

Disrupting the Bystander
Disrupting the Bystander

Disrupting the Bystander

When #metoo Happens Among Friends

By A.V. Flox, Foreword by Feminista Jones

Thorntree Fundamentals


252 Pages, 5.25 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: October 2019

ISBN 9781944934569

Rights: WOR

Thorntree Press (Oct 2019)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $14.95


How to step in during displays of sexual harassment, bullying, assault, or other forms of interpersonal abuse

Public displays of abusive dynamics aren't limited to the "lover's quarrel" that we so often witness (silently). Abuse can arise in any interpersonal relationship. Coercing a friend to loan money or isolate from others is abuse. Mocking a coworker with racial slurs or homophobic insults is abuse. A community leader using their position and influence to maintain control over their friends or partners is abuse. Societal reluctance to identify these behaviors as abuse can lead to the "bystander effect" or "bystander apathy," where witnesses hesitate or outright refrain from intervening in moments of crisis. By normalizing this reluctance, we are failing survivors. Confronting abuse in our interpersonal spaces requires identifying abuse as it happens and strategies for proactive, compassionate intervention. Disrupting the Bystander provides the toolkit for the lapsed bystander to learn how to identify and intervene in situations of interpersonal abuse.


"An essential handbook for supporting those who have been harmed, while also caring for yourself. If you've ever felt helpless in the face of someone else's discomfort or pain, this book will teach you how to show up and stand up." —Laszlo Bock, CEO of Humu and author of Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google to Transform How You Live and Lead

"A must-read for anyone interested in repairing harm in their communities. Using a combination of personal narrative and research, A.V. Flox provides a map for helping others to heal while continuing to hold abusive individuals accountable. We all know people who people who have been harmed and people who have harmed. This is why everyone should read this book." —Kelly Sundberg, author of Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival

"A.V. Flox effectively and empathically interweaves personal experiences with a deep intuitive understanding of how the nervous system adaptively shifts bodily states to support survival in the short term, while simultaneously disrupting our health and our ability to connect, co-regulate with loved ones, and compassionately witness another's trauma." —Stephen W. Porges, PhD, Distinguished University Scientist and Founding Director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina

"I'm both thrilled and relieved that A.V. Flox's important work is now unleashed upon the world. Our communities need better guidelines for reducing harm, ones that are informed by neuroscience and the mechanics of trauma, and I can't think of a more meticulous and conscientious author to handle the task." —Arden Leigh, creator of The Re-Patterning Project and frontwoman of Arden and the Wolves

"A book filled with practical, concrete wisdom—even for those of us who have to work at understanding humans—to operate a community of support and accountability in situations where we often find ourselves at a loss." —Lea Kissner, Chief Privacy Officer, Humu

"An urgent and hopeful guide to helping survivors feel safe and find justice that transforms rather than punishes. Whether you're a friend of a survivor or someone who has done harm, you'll find answers here to the impossible question posed by #metoo: What do we do with these perpetrators now?" —Ella Dawson, sex and culture writer

"The emotional wisdom and depth of research in this book is incredible. Anyone supporting someone through trauma needs this book." —Aleatha Parker-Wood, machine learning and privacy researcher

"This is a valuable and unique book, combining deep sensitivity and empathy with a rigorous, evidence-based approach to the best ways to handle some incredibly difficult situations." —Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden

Author Biography

A.V. Flox is a journalist who has written for the LA Times, Village Voice, LA Weekly, VICE, and Gizmodo. Feminista Jones is a social worker, in-demand feminist writer, public speaker, and community activist currently residing in Philadelphia.