Genesis House to offer presentation on bystander intervention techniques

The importance of bystander intervention and safe intervention techniques have made their way into the spotlight in recent weeks, and the Tech community will have an opportunity to learn more about the topic.A program, entitled “Play it Safe,” will be presented at 11 a.m. on Thursday in RUC Room 342.

“‘Play it Safe’ is an interactive presentation that I created to get students thinking about what they can do to help prevent violence,” said Tara Bates, primary prevention educator from Genesis House. “Students will hopefully learn the difference between ‘risk reduction’ and ‘prevention.’ Students will also be given specific examples of helpful actions they can take to keep each other safe.”

Although students often tend to ignore the topic of safety on campus, Bates feels she will be able to get around this.

“I think most students want to be helpful members of the campus community,” Bates said. “So to give them ideas for helping keep others safe may make the subject more palatable than your typical ‘to be safe you shouldn’t walk alone at night, you should carry your keys like a weapon, etc.’ lecture.”

The presentation will offer many techniques for safe intervention which have been a topic of discussion in school across the country since the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl at a high school in Richmond, Calif.

“With the recent California gang rape that took place in front of over 20 bystanders, this presentation, which has been in the planning stages for some time, is unfortunately and particularly relevant,” Diana Lalani, Women’s Center secretary, added.

The presentation will also focus on keeping the topic relevant to Tech’s campus.

“I think everyone knows someone who has intervened in a situation that could have led to someone getting hurt,” Bates said. “I also think that whether they admit it or not, people admire those who intervene for being proactive.”

Whether they realize it or not, most people have taken part in bystander intervention of some kind.

“If you have ever had a friend volunteer to drive you home when you’ve been drinking, you have experienced a form of bystander intervention,” Bates said.

Campuses often offer many opportunities for students to step in and prevent the escalation of situations.

“I want to stress that you do not have to do anything that you makes you feel unsafe in order to intervene,” Bates said.

For more information on this event, contact womenscenter@tntech.edu.