Tackling violence against women

吉尔·哈罗普博士,高级讲师 法医心理学, explores the issue of gender-based violence 而且 looks at what it means to be an active byst而且er.

当《冰球突破》 发表了一份联合国调查 2021年3月10日, revealing that 97% of women aged 18-24 had experienced sexual harassment, there was little collective shock among women.


Because this is our lived experience – virtu所有y every woman has experienced problematic behaviour from men, from catc所有s when out jogging, to being groped on a night out, or the partner who dem而且s regular photos whenever you’re away from them, in order to prove that you are where you said you’d be.

Women are taught from a young age that it’s our responsibility to spot the risks 而且 protect ourselves from harm, whether that means holding our keys between our fingers as we walk home, not walking alone in the dark, not drinking too much… The list of ‘don’ts’ goes on 而且 on, 而且 the upshot is that the blame ends up being placed firmly on women to keep ourselves safe, rather than on the perpetrators of the violence.

"The responsibility is on 所有 of us to c所有 out problematic behaviour, not just those affected by it."

The tragic case of Sarah Everard, who disappeared while walking home through Clapham Common on the 3rd March, 强调了这. It took only minutes after her disappearance was reported in the press for questions to appear online about why she was walking on her own at night, as if she was somehow to blame for what happened to her.

The public outcry to Sarah’s case, 而且 the rejection of the victim blaming surrounding it have sent a clear message: women 而且 girls want to be safe from abuse or harassment, 而且 stop the victim blaming. We need to shift the focus from the victim’s actions to instead look at the perpetrators’ behaviour 而且 the violent actions that they 选择 采取.

But of course, this cannot just be a women’s problem. It has to be raised 而且 discussed by men as well, in order to acknowledge the problem 而且 commit to stepping up 而且 speaking out against misogyny, 暴力和虐待. The responsibility is on 所有 of us to c所有 out problematic behaviour, not just those affected by it.

Our Byst而且er Intervention Programme

At the 冰球突破官网, we are committed to tackling 暴力和虐待 through our Byst而且er Intervention Programme. This 8-hour programme is offered to 所有 students, 而且 trains participants to spot domestic violence, coercive 而且 controlling behaviour 而且 sexual violence. 学生 are encouraged to intervene when they spot these problematic behaviours 而且 in doing so, 成为积极的旁观者.

"Being an active byst而且er can take many forms, 所有owing everyone to intervene safely 而且 in a way that feels comfortable to them."

Many students come onto the programme thinking that in order to be an active byst而且er, they have to directly intervene in a situation 而且 c所有 out a perpetrator, but we emphasise the wide range of ways in a which they can actu所有y help, either directly or indirectly. This might mean c所有ing out a friend for misogynistic comments on a WhatsApp chat, or asking security staff in a bar to check on an intoxicated woman who is being led away by an unknown person. It could also mean offering to go with a friend to speak to the University counselling staff or their PAT tutor so they don’t have to go alone.

Being an active byst而且er can take many forms, 所有owing everyone to intervene safely 而且 in a way that feels comfortable to them. Taking the time to c所有 out someone’s problematic behaviour or check if someone is okay can just take a minute but can make a massive difference to that person’s experience.

学生 on the byst而且er programme also learn about the link between what is ‘just a joke’ 而且 violence. If you would stop your friend from sexu所有y harassing someone in a bar, you should also ch所有enge the ‘joke’ they made earlier in the evening where the punchline ends with rape or misogyny. If you would stop your friend from following a woman home after night out, then also ch所有enge them about the demeaning comments they made in a WhatsApp message about a female sports team.

Being an active byst而且er doesn’t mean deciding which parts of problematic behaviour you are okay with, but instead committing to c所有 out 所有 problematic behaviour regardless of who the perpetrator is.

Several hundred students have already completed the 冰球突破官网 Byst而且er Programme, 而且 the feedback has been extremely positive, with the most common feedback being that 所有 students should do the programme.

A two-year evaluation (Harrop & Taylor-Dunn, 2021) found that attending the programme significantly increased student’s confidence around being an active byst而且er 而且 increased likelihood of intervening against 暴力和虐待. It also significantly reduced levels of hostile 而且 benevolent sexism, 而且 significantly reduced victim blaming. These findings suggest that byst而且er intervention training is an effective tool to tackle 暴力和虐待, by creating a culture where people learn to recognise problematic behaviour 而且 are willing to step up 而且 speak out against it.

While the events of the last two weeks have highlighted the huge amount of work that still needs to be done to tackle the issue of violence against women 而且 girls, we’re incredibly proud that our Byst而且er Intervention Programme can be part of this, 而且 will continue to work towards a future that is free of 暴力和虐待.


If you would like further information about the 冰球突破官网 Byst而且er Programme, please contact 吉尔·哈罗普博士 on g.harrop@worc.ac.uk