Bringing in the Bystander at Ashland University
Safe Haven had the opportunity to provide Bringing in the Bystander intervention training to Ashland University’s Resident Assistants over the past two weeks. Our Outreach and Prevention Coordinator, Alison Webb, and Campus Advocate, Kaitlynn Dolezal, both have knowledge and experience in this program, which requires extensive training. It is incredibly exciting to be at Ashland University, speaking with students who are at the frontlines of issues on campus.
(L to R: Outreach and Prevention Coordinator, Alison Webb and Campus Advocate, Kaitlynn Dolezal)
What is Bringing in the Bystander?
The Bringing in the Bystander program teaches bystanders how to safely intervene in instances of sexual violence, relationship violence, or where stalking may be occurring. This program is evidence-based, and focuses on the community’s responsibility, rather than the roles of the victim and perpetrator. Additionally, the campus community and students are viewed as stakeholders regarding issues surrounding sexual violence. Everyone has a part, role and responsibility in matters of sexual assault. Students can learn to identify and safely intervene in risky situations.
Changing the Culture
Bringing in the Bystander aims to change the culture in the community, provide support for victims, and reduce sexual violence on campus. It encourages students to not stand back and feel uncomfortable when they are in places where sexual violence may be occurring. Instead, bystanders feel empowered and educated on how to assess the situation and risk, and safely and effectively intervene on the victim’s behalf.
We hope to continue training our community on Bringing in the Bystander. This program provides so many benefits, and catalyzes healthy discussion on issues of sexual violence. If we can continue to encourage and empower individuals to intervene and realize that sexual violence is a community issue, change can truly begin to happen.