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What should we do when we see sexual harassment?

Jesus College is partnering with online learning platform edX to teach people how to respond if they witness sexual harassment and violence, in the first course of its kind - available to anyone in the world with internet access.

In 2017, an international movement gained momentum highlighting the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and violence. On Facebook, #MeToo was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts within 24 hours.

How to be an active bystander in a post #MeToo world  brings together survivors, academics and practitioners. It explores the role individuals can play in addressing sexual harassment and violence, what options we have when we see this kind of behaviour, and how to stay safe as an active bystander.

The course is led by Dr Sarah Steele, Deputy Director of Jesus College’s Intellectual Forum and a Senior Research Associate at Cambridge Public Health, who specialises in the main themes explored in this training. She has taught #MeToo and the Law for Australian National University for several years, and has facilitated the University of Cambridge’s Intervention Initiative. 

Dr Steele said: “Many of us now know poor behaviour when we see it; we’ve talked a lot about sexual harassment and violence in recent years. But how do we respond when we see it? How do we drive change?

“This course gives you tools to think about how you might act. It provides insight into #MeToo as a movement, draws on up-to-date research and evidence on action and inaction, and gives real-world examples to help you respond at work, in public, and even at home.”

Heidi Allen, former MP said: “What I’ve discovered, both as a private citizen and as a Member of Parliament, is that creating a better society is everyone’s responsibility. It is fantastic that anyone in the world can access this course for free, because we all must play our part. Standing up against injustice doesn’t have to be big and dramatic and can look and feel very different for each of us – and this course teaches lots of different tools for action. We can all make a difference. #MeToo #YouToo.”

Professor Dame Athene Donald, Master of Churchill College and champion of women in science said: "We all need to play our part in defeating bad behaviour, particularly when it comes to sexual harassment and violence. Doing nothing is to be complicit. There is nothing like being well-informed in advance, so you know the steps you can take when you spot things going wrong. Be an active bystander, make that difference!"

Jesus College was an early adopter of the University of Cambridge Breaking the silence campaign, and provides intervention initiative training to students.

Enrolment is open now. The course can be taken for free on Jesus College’s edX website.