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UHS introduces new sexual violence bystander intervention program
In August, University Health Services (UHS) will introduce a new campus bystander intervention program called ActWIse, specifically developed for the UW-Madison campus community, to help build capacity to prevent sexual assault and dating violence.
A launch event to introduce ActWIse to students, staff, and faculty will take place August 17-18.
UHS Violence Prevention is leading the ActWIse deployment. “We’re excited that this program will directly respond to campus-specific data we have around bystander efficacy,” says Nola Pastor, Violence Prevention Specialist and ActWIse coordinator. “Participants will learn to understand how their personal values and perspectives inform how to intervene when they witness inappropriate behavior and how to help change cultural norms around sexual violence.
Pastor says ActWIse will be used as a community education strategy for select student populations with high levels of influence on campus culture and norms including student-athletes and members of fraternities and sororities. “ActWIse works best for groups that have shared values and purpose, but it’s suitable for any campus audience—whether you’re a student group, a faculty member, or staff department,” she adds.
ActWIse replaces Green Dot, a bystander intervention strategy UHS began using in Spring 2016. While Green Dot was intended to be used for three to five years, staff departures and institutional reorganizations led to instructor shortages, compromising the sustainability of the program.
By creating UW-Madison specific content, ActWIse addresses UW-Madison’s unique needs and culture, and complements the GetWIse violence prevention program series. In-house content development also allows UHS to host trainings throughout the year and increase the number of trained ActWIse facilitators.
ActWIse includes three programming options: A 60- to 90-minute introductory workshop; a six-hour skills trainings; and a two-day facilitator training. All programs are available at no cost.
The first ActWIse training is August 17 and 18 in the Memorial Union. Participants can choose to register for the skills training on Day, or register for both days to become trained as ActWIse facilitators. To register for the August ActWIse training, visit https://go.wisc.edu/44wq2m. UHS plans to host two to three trainings each year.
For more information on violence prevention programming, visit our ActWise page.
Help is available for student survivors of sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.