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Bystander training empowers students

Bystander Training
Bystander Training
Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-28 19:13:01-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Sunday afternoon, Florida State students discovered ways to become active bystanders in violent situations in hopes of creating a safer community.

You may see a violent encounter happening and want to intervene, but don't know how. Cassidy Camp is one of many Florida State students who tells us, "There have been a lot of situations where I could have done something, but I wasn't sure what to do."

That's where Sunday's Green Dot Bystander Training comes in. It educates students, using creative ways to alleviate an at-risk situation.  A graduate student in attendance, Jasmine Armstrong, says, "I feel like I've gained a lot more confidence in how to intervene safely, but also effectively."

Green Dot is part of the "Know More" campus initiative to prevent sexual and relationship violence. Students use role-play, creating open discussion about real college scenarios. For example, they are given a situation and a barrier that they need to get around in order to solve a problem. They work in teams to figure out what is the best way to overcome different obstacles. 

Even the least confrontational students learn strategies they feel comfortable using. Since the program started 2 years ago, Green Dot has hosted 15 fully packed Bystander Workshops.

Jose Carval, Green Dot Coordinator for Florida State University adds, "They are 6 hours and they are completely voluntary. No student is told to come or that they have to come. They come because they want to be here and they want to make a difference." It doesn't stop in the classroom. Sunday's bystander training is creating a proactive community that continues the conversation about preventing violence.

Florida State has numerous resources under the "Know More" campaign. Visit knowmore.fsu.edu.