Sexual Assault Bystander Intervention Training Program To Begin Monday

As a part of the acceptance and implementation of the 18 Sexual Assault Task Force Recommendations, Penn State will begin it’s bystander intervention training program on Monday to help combat sexual assault. The program aims to train faculty, staff, and community members how to intervene safely and appropriately to prevent sexual misconduct and diffuse risky situations, and additionally teach these skills to students and other staff members.

The initial, core group of faculty and staff members will come from each of Penn State’s campuses for the four day session. The approximately 75 participants who complete the training will have the opportunity to lead workshops for others in the future regarding sexual violence and bystander intervention. This first phase of this initiative will teach these instructors how to recognize and intervene in a potential misconduct situation.

The group providing the training, Green Dot, etc., is a bystander intervention initiative that aims to teach and prepare organizations and communities how to implement a strategy of violence prevention that reduces power-based personal violence, such as sexual assault. The university hopes that the training will empower people to successfully handle risky situations and give them the skills to appropriately intervene.

“We want the participants to come away with the knowledge and an ethic of caring about one another, and learn to intervene whenever it’s appropriate,” said Barry Bram, assistant vice president of student affairs. “It’s really about the decisions people make in their everyday lives.”

The bystander intervention training is just one of the ways that the university has begun to implement the recommended task force solutions to sexual assault at Penn State. In April, a new model was announced for investigating sexual assault cases, and the university has begun conducting surveys to better understand the climate of sexual assault and harassment on campus. President Barron said the wide range of recommendations from the Sexual Assault Task Force will make Penn State stand out when it comes to issues of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct.

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Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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