Columbia Spectator on Bystander Intervention Training

Monday, March 28, 2016

When Columbia introduced mandated bystander intervention training in 2014, it led peer institutions in sexual assault education. But while Columbia continues to be a leader, experts agree that the education available to students fails to meet the model agreed to be most effective—required, continuous training.

Bystander intervention training is key in improving intervention rates according to the survey conducted by the Association of American Universities in 2015 that showed that well over half of Columbia students have witnessed but failed to intervene in potential cases of sexual assault. The survey found that 57.4 percent of Columbia students did not intervene when witnessing another student behaving in a sexually violent or harassing manner and 78.9 percent did not when witnessing another student heading for a drunken sexual encounter. In both cases, roughly 20 percent cited that they did not intervene because they didn’t know how.

...(Prof. Suzanne) Goldberg said that the ideal is a campus culture wherein bystander intervention is the norm, and training is a way to get there.

Read more in the Spectator.