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Bringing in the Bystander – combatting sexual violence at the UM

October 7, 2019 — 

The University of Manitoba recently released an independent report outlining how the university will take action on the prevention, response, and consequences of sexual violence within the university community. Included as one of the recommendations in the report was the Bringing in the Bystander program for students.

Bringing in the Bystander ™ is an evidence-based, interactive prevention workshop that is based on the concept that community members have a role to play in preventing sexual violence. Participants are given examples from around North America and provided with evidence and statistics specific to the University of Manitoba community. Student participants learn the importance of speaking out against social norms that support a culture of sexual violence, they become aware of and are able to identify potential risks in various situations, they develop empathy and support for survivors, and explore how to safely interrupt or intervene in situations that could lead to sexual violence.

“Bringing in the Bystander helps participants examine the many subversive forms in which sexual violence manifests. We explore concepts such as victim blaming, rape culture, and consent in order for participants to identify potential opportunities for prevention,” Eagan Peters, Program Facilitator. Evidence has shown that Bringing in the Bystander is effective in shifting attitudes, cultivating senses of bystander responsibility, and increasing likelihood of participants intervening. 

Each workshop is led by two trained student facilitators who come from a variety of programs and faculties at the University of Manitoba. The workshop is highly interactive and encourages students to consider the role they can play in preventing sexual violence, by challenging social norms and by safely intervening in situations.

Bringing in the Bystander workshops are available in 90 minute or 3 hour formats and can be scheduled by contacting the Program Assistant at bitb [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

More information can be found on the sexual violence website.

Work with Bringing in the Bystander

The program is also currently recruiting facilitators. As a paid facilitator, you will help deliver this program to students on campus and contribute to a shared community knowledge of the impact of sexual violence – and how bystanders have an important role to play in overall community safety.

“What really stands out for me about Bringing in the Bystander is that it’s a peer-to-peer program. It really empowers students to recognize that they can make a difference in preventing sexual violence in our university community,” said Program Assistant, Emily Livingston.

Facilitators will receive paid training, and will then facilitate workshops throughout the school year. The workshops have the potential to be transformative for both facilitators and student participants.

Detailed application information for the facilitator opportunity can be found here. Deadline for applications is October 15, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

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