Bystander

Preventing Violence against Women at StFX – A Campus Community Project

After recent tragedies – where young women who were sexually violated and further victimized by their peers to such extents as to motivate them to commit suicide – community members look for answers and accountability at all levels.

Preventing Violence against Women at StFX, a campus community project led by the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre, strives for a collaborative approach to addressing and preventing violence against women in our communities, an approach in which all members are responsible for the environment in which we live, work, and study.

We have come to understand the need to implement education that empowers key members of the campus and the community to act on positive bystander behaviours that reflect an environment that is intolerant to violence and better supportive of survivors. Such key members will act as role models in their own circles and commit to sharing this learning, providing for broad, community impact.

What are bystander programs?

Bystander programs address gender-based violence in an innovative way, an approach where women are not only victims and men are not only perpetrators, but where all persons who live, work, and study in an environment have the power and responsibility to prevent violence. It is based on the assumption that while most of us know about and witness incidents of violence, we often fail to act because we do not have the skills and role modelling to do so.

What is Bringing in the Bystander (BITB)?

Bringing in the Bystander (BITB) teaches bystanders how to intervene safely and effectively. Its main message is that “everyone in the community has a role to play in ending sexual violence.” It’s based on founding work on bystander prevention by Jackson Katz (Mentors in Violence Prevention program), Alan Berkowitz, and John Foubert (One in Four programs). Evaluation results demonstrate the effectiveness of this program for increasing participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about effective responses to sexual violence.

Trainers are Angela Borges, Counselling Psychology at Boston College and Robert “Bobby” Eckstein, Psychology at the University of New Hampshire. Both are lecturers and researchers who have years of experience training trainers for Bringing in the Bystander.

Establishing Bringing in the Bystander (BITB) at StFX & in Antigonish

The project partners of Preventing Violence against Women at StFX are working towards establishing Bringing in the Bystander on campus and in the community using collaborative and sustainable models, so that the learning from it can be impactful, long-lasting, and adaptable to the needs of StFX and Antigonish.

If you have any questions about this initiative or would like to be trained as a trainer for BITB, please contact Annie Chau, Project Coordinator for Prevention Violence against Women at StFX, at annie.awrc@bellaliant.com or 902-318-3300.

Please join us in addressing and ultimately, preventing violence against women and other forms of gender-based violence in our community.

More about Bringing in the Bystander (BITB) Coming to StFX & Antigonish…

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