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TSG holds bystander intervention training for Sexual Assault Prevention Week

The interactive event prompted attendees to decide how a bystander should act in situations of sexual misconduct.

Temple Student Government hosted a workshop on bystander intervention run by the Wellness Resource Center on Tuesday. This is the second event of its Sexual Assault Prevention Week.

The workshop in the Student Center’s Underground aimed to equip students with tools to prevent sexual violence and intervene before sexual violence is able to occur.

Student Body President Tyrell Mann-Barnes said TSG anticipated having 15 people attend the event, but more than 20 people attended.

“In my high school, sexual assault prevention isn’t something that a lot of light is shed on,” said freshman theater major Didem Arslanoglu. “I saw this opportunity as very eye opening, as an opportunity to hopefully make a difference even if it’s for a small audience.”

Arslanoglu was one of four students who volunteered for the interactive bystander intervention training. The students acted out scenes of possible instances of sexual misconduct.

The host, Assistant Director of the WRC Tom Johnson, would stop the scenes and prompt the audience for how they thought a bystander should act.

“When you see something that is wrong, you discern that you have the responsibility to act, and you figure out what those actions can be…that’s bystander intervention,” Johnson said.

The WRC, an on-campus health center, is responsible for Sexual Assault Awareness Month events like WalkTU, an event in March to raise awareness of sexual violence.

Mann-Barnes is the current vice president of SAASA and helped revamp WalkTU last year to be more inclusive. Previously, the event was called “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” and male-identifying students walked around campus in high heels to raise awareness of sexual violence.

“I’ve worked with [Tyrell Mann-Barnes] since he was in [Student Activists Against Sexual Assault]. So we already had that collaboration from last year, so to be able to keep that going is great,” Johnson said.

Jess, a freshman who attended the event on Tuesday, wished to remain anonymous because she is a survivor of sexual abuse.

“I’ve had some instances of sexual abuse, events like this are really beneficial to those who have endured sexual harassment or sexual assault because they really need that support,” Jess said. “Society tends to be really judgemental, but knowing that campus is a more safe environment where they know they can be more open about their trauma is going to be really beneficial.”

“I think everything is a success because it’s educating one student that would not have been educated if we didn’t have programs in the first place. So if there was one student here I’d be happy,” Mann-Barnes said.

TSG hosted a “Know Your Resources” panel with representatives from the Title IX office, Women Organized Against Rape, Campus Safety and University Residential and Housing life on Wednesday.

On Thursday, TSG will host a self-defense workshop in the Student Center.

CORRECTION: This story previously misstated the Wellness Resource Center’s location. It is an on-campus health center. 

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