Bringing in the Bystander Aims to Stop Violence


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The hands-on training session shows participants strategies to diffuse dangerous situations before they escalate.

San Jacinto College is offering Bringing in the Bystander training on Nov. 20 and 21 to educate students, staff, and faculty on how to help stop violence against both males and females. 

Amanda Rose, the coordinator of Student Engagement and Activities (SEA) on the Central Campus, said the goal of the workshop is to make the San Jac community safer by creating an environment where any bystander can diffuse a potentially dangerous situation. 

“Everyone has a role to play in ending violence against women and men,” she said. 

Bystander training debuted at the College four years ago, shortly after Safe Zone/Ally training was introduced, to help the school community become more inclusive, while at the same time raising awareness about sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Safe Zone/Ally training looks at issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and encourages participants to become better allies to LGBT students. Bystander training furthers the theme of solidarity among staff, students, and faculty by contributing to a safer environment.

During the two-hour workshop, attendees discuss potentially violent scenarios, like one student bullying another, and ways to handle the situation before it escalates. Moreover, attendees review real-world case studies like the infamous 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese, where bystanders heard the victim yelling for help, but no one stepped in to render aid because each thought someone else would. 

As the Genovese case demonstrated, not intervening in certain situations can have grave consequences. Rose said Bystander training remedies that by providing a workshop that is “applicable to real-life situations.”

“As long as attendees leave with a greater awareness of how to be a pro-social bystander,” Rose said, “it was a success.”

Bringing in the Bystander sessions take place from 1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 20 in Room 112 of the Student Center (N12) on the North Campus and Nov. 21 in Room 101 of the Interactive Learning Center (S12) on the South Campus.