The Lumberjack

Bystanders begone

Skye Peredeo (right), 21, and Adrienne Bahn, 19, hosts the Check It Bystander Intervention workshop on March 29. The workshop focused on teaching students the tools to intervene when they witness a moment of harm in the community. Photo by Abigail LeForge.

The Check It program is hosting Bystander Intervention workshops, which provide students the knowledge and skills to intervene when they witness an act of violence in the community.

Have you ever seen a situation that you knew wasn’t right, and wanted to say something, but maybe didn’t know how or what to do?

The Check It program at Humboldt State is hosting bystander intervention workshops to give students the tools to step up and say something in “check it” situations. The workshops are on March 29 and April 4.

The workshop on March 29 was hosted by two students, Adrienne Banh, 19, a psychology major, and Skye Peredeo, 21, majoring in social work. Both students are a part of the Check It launch team as a student-led movement to intervene when we see moments of harm.

“We want to give the tools so if something does happen, we can intervene,” Peredeo said.

The workshop had multiple portions and activities to help attendees better understand and give a language to situations with a lack of consent.

The workshop defined consent as yes, a definite yes, which is active, collaborative and retractable.

“A Check It moment is a situation with an absence of consent,” Peredeo said.

The skills taught in the workshop focused on three D’s of a check it moment: direct, delegate and distract.

Each of these terms correlate with a coping strategy to intervene in a Check It moment. The workshop also emphasized the personal barriers individuals experience, particularly the fear for personal safety and the safety of the survivor.

Another huge focus was intimate partner and dating violence, and how individuals can best handle those situations.

Ariel Fishkin, 26, an applied anthropology graduate student who attended the workshop, said she thought the intimate partner violence was the most important takeaway from the workshop.

“I think that checking it and intervening in intimate partners is really important,” Fishkin said.

The workshop also focused on support for survivors and how individuals can best be there for a person who has been a victim of sexual violence.

Some of the main strategies for helping survivors is to get informed on the professional resources available for survivors, such as the North Coast Rape Crisis Team. The Team offers 24-hour hotlines to talk in Del Norte and Humboldt counties. Another strategy for providing support is just listening to the survivor.

“Sharing one’s story can be incredibly difficult,” Banh said.

The workshop addressed how this is a hard subject and many people have experiences that we need to be mindful of when tackling this issue. It also addressed how marginalized communities are more likely to be victims of sexual violence, particularly the LGBTQ community, and initiated a conversation on how they are specifically targeted.

Overall, the workshop used a variety of multimedia tools including videos, games and discussions to help students to better come to an understanding of when and how to intervene in situations involving sexualized violence, which can show itself in a wide range of manifestations.

The Department of Justice released a study in 2016 which showed that one out of every five women in college will experience sexual assault.

“We want to make sure it doesn’t happen for future generations,” Peredeo said.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexualized violence and would like to contact a safe source, the North Coast Rape Crisis Team has 24-hour hotlines available in Del Norte and Humboldt counties.

Del Norte: (707) 465-2031
Humboldt: (707) 443-2738
Humboldt Domestic Violence Services: (707) 443-6042
HSU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS):
* 24-hour crisis hotline: (707) 826-3236