Bystander intervention training for coworkers, supervisors, and managers can be an effective tool for addressing and preventing harassment.
All too often, victims of harassment in the workplace feel isolated in their experience and that they alone are the ones who must put a stop to offensive, inappropriate, or discriminatory conduct, or endure it in silence. Their sense of powerless and marginalization can be magnified when coworkers avoid confronting inappropriate conduct they witness.
On the other hand, if people have education and skills about how to intervene in instances of prejudice, bias, microaggressions, bigotry, or other offensive conduct, a work environment that could have become hostile can be transformed to a place of safety and support.
Bystander intervention training benefits individuals at any and all levels of a business or organization. With more skills, familiarity, and awareness about how to identify and confront potential harassment, employers can create workplaces that are genuinely inclusive of all workers in Vermont.
Employers can provide bystander intervention education to their managers and employers using any or all of the following methods:
- In-house discussion and/or training - see some online resources for employers suggested below
- Professional instruction from a live trainer - see Directory of Trainers
- Webinars or similar online training programs
- Attendance at workshops or other training events off-site
Additional resources to explore bystander intervention and workplace harassment
- Vermont Commission on Women, Bystander Intervention Handout with useful information for anyone who wants to know how they can help stop harassment of any kind in their workplace
- American Friends Service Committee, Bystander Intervention Infographics: The 4 D’s of Bystander Intervention (page 1) and the Do’s and Don’t’s of Bystander Intervention (page 2)
- Seed The Way, Interrupting Bias - Calling Out vs. Calling In, August 2018
- People’s Response Team Chicago, Bystander Intervention 101 - free training materials focusing on ways to intervene in public instances of racist, anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-Trans, and other forms of oppressive interpersonal violence and harassment while considering the safety of all parties. In addition to group discussion, the training utilizes role-plays as a primary tool in practicing intervention techniques and learning new ways to protect ourselves and our communities.
- Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Start Conversations in the Workplace about Sexual and Domestic Violence featuring brief video vignettes for employers and employees, including how to talk to an employee who may be a victim; how to address an employee who may be a perpetrator of domestic or sexual violence; and how to support a colleague
- Southern Poverty Law Center, Speak Up Handbook is a resource for confronting bigotry, including scenarios and possible responses to hateful or discriminatory remarks or conduct
- Kidpower, Speaking Up About Put Downs, Kidpower
- Hollaback provides recommendations, guidance and training on bystander intervention for harassment of all forms
- It’s On Us is focused on engaging men in ending campus sexual assault. Find educational resources about consent and bystander interventions skills