OSAPR and Harvard College to Pilot Bystander Training, Khurana Says

October 21, 2019

By Shera S. Avi-Yonah and Delano R. Franklin, Crimson Staff Writers


Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana said Friday he will work with the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response to pilot new forms of bystander training after survey results showed rates of sexual misconduct among undergraduates have remained stagnant over the past several years.

The results come from the 2019 iteration of the American Association of Universities’ sexual misconduct survey — the largest-ever of its kind. The 2019 survey showed that roughly 33 percent of surveyed undergraduate women and 11 percent of undergraduate men at Harvard reported that they had experienced some form of nonconsensual sexual contact. In a previous version of the survey conducted in 2015, 31 percent of senior undergraduate women reported the same.

The 2019 survey found that more than 80 percent of harassment incidents at the College occurred between students. When asked about undergraduate perpetrators, Khurana highlighted the bystander training Harvard plans to offer.

“We will be piloting — working with OSAPR — bystander training in different ways to see what the most effective type of bystander training [is that] we can do in our community,” Khurana said.

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