Dr Sarah Steele, leader of the course, described the course as offering 'tools to think about how you might act' in situations involving harassmentLucas Maddalena

Jesus College has launched an online course to teach people how to be “active bystanders” when witnessing sexual harassment and violence. 

In partnership with edX, an online learning platform, the course will explore a variety of topics relating to harassment. Its aims include educating people on how to respond to poor behaviour in the workplace; how to stay safe as an active bystander; and the role of culture in driving poor behaviour and violence. 

The course is titled “how to be an active bystander in a post #MeToo world” and will be free to anyone with access to the internet. The #MeToo campaign is an international movement that began in 2017 and focused on highlighting the prevalence of sexual harassment and violence. 

Dr Sarah Steele, the course lead and Deputy Director of the College’s Intellectual Forum, 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?


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“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.”

Professor Dame Athene Donald, Master of Churchill College and advocate for women in science, also commented: "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.” 

She added that “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 has previously supported students with issues surrounding sexual harassment through the University of Cambridge Breaking the Silence campaign, and by providing intervention initiative training to students.