Between January and July, nearly 500 people, including students, local councillors, front line council staff, police, NHS, voluntary sector and the local nighttime economy staff, have taken part in Active Bystander training.
The training supports people to understand how to respond to sexual harassment and violence. The first half of the training focuses on what sexual violence is, what it looks and sounds like, and how ingrained it is within our culture, attitudes and beliefs. The second part of the training focuses on the Bystander Intervention Model which assesses how to respond and safeguard in a safe and supportive way.
The training is part of the ongoing Home Office Safer Streets programme, following a successful local authority bid for funding to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, to roll out programmes designed to reduce incidents of violence against women and girls.
Following the success of the virtual training, an e-learning programme has been developed and is launching later this month. The training will be made available to people working in the transport sector, initially taxi and bus drivers and then rolled out to the wider nighttime economy over the coming months.
Councillor Ian Holder, Cabinet Member for Safety in the Community said: “This training is one of many ways we are working to tackle violence against women and girls.
“It’s encouraging to hear that so many people from different organisations have already taken part in the training. We all have our part to play in reducing violence against women wherever we can. I urge anyone working in the nighttime economy to sign up for this training.
“The greater the number of people there are willing to intervene when witnessing incidents of sexual violence, the fewer serious incidents there might be.”
Having undertaken the training, one respondent commented:
“It was interesting to learn that there are other ways of getting involved to help someone without putting yourself at risk. And I liked that it also understood the pressures and times when we may hesitate to intervene, validating any apprehension, rather than shaming people for being unable to act.”