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Bringing in the Bystander

Sexual Harassment Office offering intervention education sessions

Campus and Community

By Melissa Watton

In recognition and support of Violence Prevention Month, the Sexual Harassment Office is offering Bringing in the BystanderTM intervention education sessions to individuals throughout the university community in February.

Bystander intervention education is an essential component of the Sexual Harassment Office’s comprehensive sexual violence prevention strategy.

Raising awareness

According to Rhonda Shortall, Memorial’s sexual harassment advisor, the sessions are aimed at raising awareness of bystander intervention and the shared responsibility for sexual harassment and sexual assault intervention and prevention.

“Intervention education programs help participants recognize the importance of stepping forward as a bystander and intervening by doing or saying something when situations of sexual harassment and sexual assault arise,” she said.

“This program will help participants identify situations of sexual harassment and sexual assault and provide them with an understanding of their role as a bystander. Participants will also have the opportunity to develop their intervention skills and be empowered to intervene in a safe manner.”

Pan-university priority

Bystander intervention education is a pan-university priority.

Units throughout Memorial identified individuals in December 2018 who were trained in January 2019 as program facilitators. These individuals will facilitate the education sessions within their units as needed.

In addition, they form a team of campus facilitators to assist the Sexual Harassment Office in responding to the ongoing education of members of the university community.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend one of the sessions that are planned for February on the St. John’s and Grenfell campuses. Sessions are scheduled as followed:

St. John’s campus (all sessions open to faculty, staff and students)

  • Friday, Feb. 8, 9-10:30 a.m. in ER-4002
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 2-3:30 p.m. in ED-5013
  • Thursday, Feb. 28, 9-10:30 a.m. in ER-4002

Grenfell Campus

  • Student session, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in AS 2016
  • Faculty and staff session, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 10-11:30 a.m. in AS 2016

The Sexual Harassment Office anticipates program facilitators at the Marine Institute campus and Labrador Institute will hold sessions in the near future.

Bringing in the BystanderTM was developed by the University of New Hampshire. The Sexual Harassment Office has purchased the Bringing in the Bystander™ curriculum as part of its ongoing commitment to furthering education in the area of sexual harassment and sexual assault and its commitment to shifting the culture on this subject.


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