Take a Course
The Bystander Initiative offers two courses that prepare you to lead BI workshops: Practical Strategies for Social Change (350/351) and Practicum in Social Change (450/451)
Course 1: Practical Strategies for Social Change: Intervening to prevent sexual assault
You will learn about ~
- sexual assault – what is it? Where and when is it most common? What are the power dynamics that underpin coercive behaviour and violence?
- the psychology of the “bystander effect” – why people often don’t help in emergency situations, and how this reluctance can be overcome
- linking theories and methods of personal change to broader social change
- impacts of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault on victims-survivors, and how to appropriately support friends in crisis
This course opens space for dialogue between students with different levels of experience and knowledge on the topic. Individually and collectively, you will deconstruct rape myths and trace how these ideas have become embedded in popular culture, social institutions, and your own thinking. In other words, the course sheds light on how a whole society learns to tolerate sexual violence, and explores what “unlearning” might look like.
The course draws on the most recent research on sexual violence from a range of fields, including sociology, psychology, law, history, statistics, masculinity studies and gender studies. You will explore different approaches to fighting violence on campus and across the community and develop projects that engage ordinary people in this work.
Half of the students in course 1 go on to course 2 where they deepen their knowledge of sexual assault prevention, learn to deliver the BITB® workshop, and lead workshops for other undergraduates.
Course applications go live October 1 for Winter term and April 1 for Fall term.