5. Train: Respond

Provide comprehensive training for staff members. Bystander training is key. Include any relevant policies.

At the heart of training to respond is confidence and compassion. Be confident in your knowledge of unacceptable behaviours, your company policies and your procedures, and be compassionate in your intervention and support.

Encourage a culture of belief and avoid judgement. Say you believe the person. Do not doubt a harassment report, for example, becauseit happened away from other people or nobody else witnessed it.

Normalise and encourage celebration ofdifference within your spaces. Train staff to recognise and respond to all forms of harassment, not just sexual harassment. Whether this is against someone’s gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, age, sex, or any other element of their identity.

/ Make sure your staff are confident in:

  • Recognising harassing behaviours
  • Intervening safely
  • Supporting people after an incident

Train all staff on how to be an Active Bystander. Make this training part of your onboarding process and refresh the training at least once a year. Normalise conversations about bystander interventions and share best practice with your team.

/ Being an Active Bystander

We are all bystanders. We all witness events unfolding around us. Sometimes we recognise events as being problematic. When this happens, we decide to do or say something and become an active bystander (either in the moment or at a later stage) or to simply let it go and remain a passive bystander.

Bystander interventions are based on taking people through the different stages required to move from inaction to action. For this to happen, the bystander must:

  • Notice and be aware of the event
  • See the event or behaviour as a problem
  • Feel responsible and motivated to act
  • Have the necessary skills to be able to intervene safely and effectively.

Effective bystander interventions empower people to move through these stages of change, and safely intervene (either at the time or later) to challenge harmful attitudes, language or behaviour that supports violence.