Here’s what Active Bystander Training means to us…

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As part of 16 Days Of Action To End Gender-Based Violence (the long running human rights campaign) and our Against Sexual Violence Campaign, we’re inviting students to participate in Active Bystander Training workshops to learn how to safely and appropriately intervene in situations relating to sexual and relationship violence. 

We all know that sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking and sexual misconduct are never OK. But what would you do if you walked past someone on campus and heard or saw something which didn’t feel quite right? That's precisely why we’re offering a number of FREE Active Bystander training sessions for all students. We want to help build a community of responsibility and care on campus so you can learn how to safely act on all types of harassment. Not only that, the training will help develop your communication and leadership skills, which will both look great on your CV. We’ve spoken to two students who’ve already taken part in the training to find out what they thought…

‘I learnt loads of practical techniques,’ says Melanie Reeve, who is studying an MA in Literary Studies (Shakespeare pathway).

‘I heard about the Active Bystander training at Goldsmiths through the posters at enrolment. I decided to give it a go because I was intrigued and genuinely interested in how I could make a difference.

I went alone and thought the two facilitators were warm and welcoming. It was well structured, with activities and timings clearly communicated. I thought a video they showed us was well-chosen, offering some really practical suggestions for safe intervention.

My main reason for attending was because I wanted to learn some practical techniques for effective intervention. I hoped the session would allay my fear of this kind of confrontation – and it certainly did!

I absolutely think I’ve learnt something valuable from the session. The most valuable thing for me was understanding and seeing techniques to engage with other “bystanders” in a situation, as they can be a valuable resource. If you haven’t already popped along for a session, I’d recommend it to everyone within the Goldsmiths community!’

 

‘This training should be mandatory,’ says Hamna Imran, who is studying Applied Social Sciences Community Development and Youth Work

‘I heard about the training through the Societies Coordinator. I also saw it on Facebook and my friends saw it on the Goldsmiths app. I decided to go because I knew it would be super useful and also because of the degree, very relevant. To be honest, I think the training should be mandatory for everyone.

The class was run very smoothly. It felt like a safe space and everyone was given a chance to share their own experiences. There was no pressure so it was very easy going and the time flew by.

I now feel a lot more aware of my surroundings, and would be more comfortable to confront or challenge a situation in the future, something I perhaps wouldn’t have been able to do in the past. 

I loved the training so much that I’m trying to get the members of my society (I’m treasurer of the Pakistani society) to give it a go too.’  

Active Bystander sessions are running throughout the year. Click here for more info. 

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