Prevention and Bystander Intervention
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault don't only affect those directly involved, our university community can be impacted as well. Taking a shared responsibility is vital toward making change. This can include making changes in your day to day life to be mindful of complainant blaming thoughts, attitudes, or statements as well as to be mindful of using gender neutral language. Prevention and Intervention are a crucial part of the shared responsibility and include education, consent and bystander intervention.
Educating yourself on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault is a proactive way to engage in the movement toward preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault. Department Heads are encouraged to invite a presentation from the Sexual Harassment Office and are reminded that our education sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of your area. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to participate in the various education sessions and events around campus.
CONSENT IS MANDATORY
Consent is mandatory and can be revoked at any time. It must be reaffirmed and can never be assumed. It is important that both partners check in with each other every step of the way to ensure consent is mutual.
Consent cannot be given under coercion or implied threat. Consent cannot be given in a situation where there is a power imbalance. It must be voluntary and enthusiastic. As well, consent cannot be given when intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, when unconscious, or when asleep.
Bystanders can be colleagues, classmates, family members, friends, strangers, or anyone that is a third party observer not directly involved in the situation. When it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault, bystanders play an important role in interrupting a situation however it is vital that personal safety be of utmost importance.
Some ways you can intervene, while being mindful of your own safety can include:
- speaking up in a meeting when a colleague makes an inapproriate comment
- calling a friend out for telling an inapproriate joke
- making sure a friend gets home safely after a night of partying
- helping someone connect with the Sexual Harassment Office
- promoting a sexual harassment free environment
- reporting any incidents to the Sexual Harassment Office
The safest way to intervene is to keep yourself at a distance and call 911 or CEP.