Yvonne Salmon, convener of the CRASSH Alchemical Landscape Research Group, has been invited to become a facilitator of the University’s 'Bystander Intervention Initiative'. This is a flagship project of the University’s 'Breaking the Silence' campaign which was launched by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope in October 2017. The intervention initiative tackles issues of harassment, sexual assault, rape, and domestic abuse in the University context and equips students to intervene safely.
As Yvonne notes, 'our workshops look at the ways that harassment and sexual violence escalate from identifiable behaviours and attitudes. We also look at the psychology of the bystander and how we can effect real change by making the decision to be a prosocial rather than a passive bystander.'
With teaching and research expertise that encompasses law, behavioural economics and cultural studies, Yvonne is well equipped to act as a facilitator: 'We look at social norms, issues of false consensus, pluralistic ignorance and information cascades in group dynamics. I’m pleased to be working on this initiative and it has been great to meet all the participants. The workshops are very positive and empowering for both men and women.'
Six Cambridge colleges are involved in the pilot initiative, with a series of workshops running in Michaelmas and Lent terms.