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What Students Are Saying:
“The facilitators presented with enthusiasm, they were positive and non-judgmental, and they cared about what people thought.”
“I wasn't that motivated to attend this session at first but glad I showed up. Definitely gained more information on this topic.”
“I was highly motivated to take this session in order to learn new ways that I can improve situations by becoming an active bystander.”
“My favorite thing about today's session was that talking honestly and openly about uncomfortable things with a group of men. I wish that happened more.”
“I was thrilled with the facilitation. They were supportive, extremely informed, and very helpful in navigating difficult topics. They made me feel comfortable.”
“This is an incredibly important topic and education for men is integral to sexual violence prevention.”
“My favorite thing about today's session was that it focused not only on women, but on all genders, races, and ethnicities.”
“I feel more confident to intervene.”
“The material presented in today's session have given me more ideas on how to stand up for myself and others who are in need. This session has also motivated me a lot with the information giving and how to use it.”
“I really enjoyed that [having experienced] rape/sexual assault was openly talked about and not seen as something shameful.”
“I was very motivated to listen to the material today because it is something that is very serious but sometimes goes unnoticed. It is really important to get educated.”
“I will now work to be a pro-bystander in my everyday like if faced with an emergency/crisis scenario. I will seek help if needed and let people know.”
"The facilitators kept the environment open, warm, and welcoming."
“I appreciated that they [facilitators] made sure we were comfortable at all times and they made the presentation interesting.”
“I come from a calm culture where violence is something rarely heard of. It is nice to know how it works in different cultures.”
“This topic is so prevalent and should be a part of everyday conversation to promote awareness.”
"Initially, I had no information about or prior knowledge of this workshop, so I was dreading the three hours [but] within 5 minutes, I was very intrigued and motivated to learn more about the prevalence [of this issue]."
"I was very motivated to listen to this presentation because unfortunately sexual assault is becoming a lot more common. It is important to stand up for victims and intervene in a safe manner in order to prevent this crime."
"Present it as a requirement for all first-year students!"
"I felt comfortable in discussing this topic, and it felt like a safe environment."
"There is no harm in learning ways to prevent, interrupt or help in a situation of sexual violence and the influence of a bystander."
"I was more interested in just gaining extra marks for class. However, I found the information/material presented was captivating. I would recommend this program to other students."
"It is very important to acknowledge that this is a very big problem and it is very important to take a stand against sexual assault and rape."
"It helped me understand a recent event and provided some closure."
"My favorite thing about this session is how no one judged you for anything and everyone had a chance to share how they felt."
"[Rape culture] is a thing that women go through every day. Having the basic knowledge on how to deal with such an issue like rape is very beneficial."
"I want to breakdown the cultural constructed definition of rape that has plagued society."
Students who take the BI workshop learn the tools they need to:
- Speak out against social norms that support sexual assault
- Recognize situations that commonly lead to sexual assault
- Take responsibility for helping the intended victim
- Be an effective and supportive ally to survivors
The workshop we use is Bringing in the Bystander®, which was developed by researchers at the University of New Hampshire. We have created a 3-hour, Canadian version of BITB® that speaks directly to the experiences of UWindsor students.
We chose BITB® because it is effective for both men and women. BITB® approaches all students as well-meaning, ordinary people who have a responsibility and the strength of character to step in when needed, even when doing so means pushing against generally accepted social norms.
Workshops are led by two students who use techniques of peer education and positive role-modelling. Whenever possible, this is a mixed-gender team to demonstrate how men and women can work together to reduce the incidence of sexual assault on campus.
To encourage full and frank discussion of sensitive issues, workshops are:
- Led by students who have completed the two BI courses
- Limited to 20-25 participants
- Offered separately to men and women. Trans and gender non-conforming students are invited to choose the workshop in which they would feel most comfortable.
Bystander workshops put into practice the insights of social psychologists whose research shows that emotional and social barriers, not indifference, explain why most people don’t offer help in emergency situations. BITB® helps students overcome these barriers.
Workshop participants also learn to notice situations that commonly lead to sexual assault; brainstorm ways to safely intervene to prevent a sexual assault before it happens, for example, by turning on the lights at a party or by telling the intended victim that you need to speak to her in the washroom “right now!”; and to offer appropriate support for those who experience sexual assault.