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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

BU: Bystander Intervention Training Program Empowers Community

Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) offers bystander intervention training to students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

Based on training provided by Hollaback, an organization focused on ending public harassment, it equips participants with the tools to recognize a problematic situation and respond both intelligently and compassionately, without throwing anger back at anger.

The bystander intervention training at BUSPH centers on the idea that teaching people very basic skills to creatively deescalate situations of public harassment is beneficial to community health.

“When you are taught a couple of key skills you can use, people are more likely to intervene in situations of harassment, and they are more likely to intervene in a way that is helpful,” says Ms. Elizabeth Henehan, a research analyst in the Department of Epidemiology at BUSPH, who is working to train students.

Through word-of-mouth, various organizations in the surrounding community have reached out to Dr. Craig Ross, a research assistant in the Department of Epidemiology at BUSPH, and Ms. Henehan about bringing bystander intervention trainings to their organization. So far, nine trainings have taken place in the community with over 100 people trained in bystander intervention, and these numbers are growing. As more people are empowered by this training, they feel other people should have these tools available to them, as well.

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