How To Be An Active Bystander And Create A Safer Environment In Your CampusBy Emily Marks
There have been a lot of reports on sexual assault in the campus. It is also possible that several more have not been documented because of victim-blaming and their fear of being ostracized.
Recently, a survey by Ohio University revealed that 13 percent, or about 132, female students admitted that they had been raped during their time in the school. The survey is one of the ways that the school is taking to assess the culture in campus. It is also expected to help reduce sexual misconduct.
Female students reported experiencing some kind of sexual misconduct while at Ohio University. The misconduct ranges from unwelcome comments that contain inappropriate sexual content to rape.
It is important, therefore, to give these students a voice. The victim's gender does not matter. What matters is that, as a fellow student, we support them and give them a voice if they are scared to come forward.
USA Today College shared tips on how to be an active bystander. Being an active bystander means that you will have two roles: to get involved when you hear or see something problematic happening and to proactively prevent these things from happening in the first place through sending messages of violence prevention. This is one of the ways to create a safer sexual culture in college campuses.
One of the best things you can do as an active bystander is to be direct. Confront the situation head on. It could be simply asking if everything's okay or telling someone to stop harassing another individual.
If you don't feel confident to be direct yet, try delegation. This is when you enlist the help of another person. The other person could be anyone - a friend, a stranger or someone with authority such as a resident advisor, a Campus Safety Officer or the police.
For those who don't feel comfortable being direct and delegating, you can also use distraction as a tool. This is when you interrupt a situation without confronting the offending party. This can be as simple as asking directions or telling your friends that you need to speak with them privately.