If you have been feeling traumatized by the national narrative about sexual harassment and assault this election season, know that you are not alone. If you fear for your personal safety or the safety of your loved ones because of the pre and post-election hate speech and hate crimes, know that you are not alone.
As Gavin de Becker says of fear, "you have the gift of a brilliant internal guardian that stands ready to warn you of hazards and guide you through risky situations."
At IMPACT, we talk about turning this "gift of fear" into courage.
As part of the IMPACT family, you are part of a community that is empowered to stand up to any form of sexual harassment, coercion or violence. And we hope that you draw some comfort and security from this community and from your training.
We also invite you to be courageous as a bystander, to say NO to violence or harassment you may witness against others. While we teach boundary setting and self-defense techniques at IMPACT, we remind you that the courage and strength you show are things you already had. And it is the courage and strength that you show that inspires us every day.
SKILLS REFRESHER: BYSTANDER INTERVENTION
Bystander intervention can be a major step toward changing cultural norms about the acceptance of violence. AND, those who do intervene and interrupt violence inspire others to take a stand too.
Here are our helpful hints to refresh your memory about safe bystander intervention:
- Decide to notice and act (break your own freeze).
- Never endanger yourself--move away and summon help if it is too dangerous to intervene.
- Solicit notice and participation from other bystanders, including delegating tasks to specific individuals.
- Ask whether the individual needs help before jumping in.