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Course a chance to be the change you want to see

Applications are now open for a course on methods of effecting change on personal and broader social levels.

In “Practical Strategies for Social Change,” students learn how violence against women becomes embedded in everyday lives, and how men and women can work together to overcome the bystander effect to make a difference.

The course, offered as a general social science, psychology, social work, sociology, criminology, or women’s and gender studies credit, is part of the Bystander Initiative, which is a campus-wide approach to sexual violence prevention.

The goal is to shift the community climate by training students to speak up against rape myths, support survivors, and safely intervene to stop sexual assault before it happens.

The course draws on the most recent research on sexual violence from a range of fields to explore:

  • Sexual assault — what is it? Where and when is it most common? What are the power dynamics that underpin coercive behaviour and violence?
  • The psychology of the “bystander effect” — why good people often don’t help in emergency situations, and how this reluctance can be overcome.
  • The link between theories and methods of personal change that lead to broader social change.
  • Impacts of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault, and how to appropriately support friends in crisis.

Students hoping to enrol in the course must have completed three semesters of study and complete an online application by May 31. Men are particularly encouraged to apply. Find more information and the application questionnaire at bystanderinitiative.com/takeacourse.