Coming up on March 30th at Utah State University, the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, along with CAPSA and USU’s SAAVI (Sexual Assault & Anti-Violence Information) office will sponsor what is known as Bystander Intervention Training. On KVNU’s For the People program, Coalition Executive Director Turner Bitton told host Jason Williams what this type of training is about.
“Bystander Intervention Training seeks to train folks to know how to intervene in those situations. Because it’s not always appropriate to jump in as a ‘knight in shining armor’ or even as an individual bystander to jump in and insert yourself into a situation,” he explained.
Bitton said the best way to help someone who has been victimized by sexual violence is to say the words “I am here for you”, “I believe you and I support you”, or "I will help you get the resources you need". He said even if you're not a full-time trained advocate, the words "I believe you" are life-changing.
Bitton said, unfortunately, upwards of 88% of sexual violence (whether it's rape, intimate partner rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment) in the state of Utah is not reported either to friends, family, law enforcement or advocates. He’s hoping the training can change that. Again, the training will be next Thursday at 6 p.m. in Room 236 in Old Main. You can get more information and RSVP at www.ucasa.org