Bystander intervention training is a crucial tool in preventing harassment and other harmful behavior. In this article, we will explore the importance of bystander intervention training in Chicago, a city where sexual assaults have reached a 20-year high. We will cover the need and benefits of bystander intervention training, additional IL protections, and how you can make a difference. By the end of this post, you will have a greater understanding of how bystander intervention can make Chicago a safer place and how you can get involved.
What is Bystander Intervention?
Bystander intervention is an approach to preventing violence and other harmful behavior by encouraging people who observe or witness such behavior to take action. This may include intervening directly, seeking help from others, or reporting the incident to authorities. It is based on the idea that people can help create a safer, more respectful environment if they are willing to take action when they observe or hear about incidents of violence or other forms of harmful behavior.
Employees who take Bystander Intervention training will learn when and how to speak out against harassment, discrimination, and microaggressions at work. Participants will have a greater knowledge of the benefits of bystander intervention in a productive workplace by the end of the course. Companies who have undergone training will be more equipped to apply bystander intervention techniques as well as efficient communication with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. And with training focused on the specific regulations in the city of Chicago, IL employees can better understand their local rights and protections.
The Need for Bystander Intervention Training in Chicago
Over the last few years, sexual assaults have reached a 20-year high in the city of Chicago, according to the Sun-Times newspaper. During the height of the pandemic in 2020, just 77 sexual assaults were reported in the Near North, but that number grew by 95% in 2021, hitting the city’s highest reports since the early 2000s. In order to combat the growing number of local harassment reports, the City of Chicago enacted additional regulations regarding sexual harassment, which they define in three ways.
First, sexual harassment in Chicago includes any unwelcome sexual advances or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Second is requests for sexual favors or conduct of a sexual nature when a.) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of an individual's employment, or b.) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for any employment decision affecting the individual, or c.) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. And third is sexual misconduct, which means any behavior of a sexual nature which also involves coercion, abuse of authority, or misuse of an individual's employment position.
How Does Chicago and IL Protect its Residents?
The State of Illinois and the City of Chicago also protect victims who report harassment from retaliation from their harasser or workplace. Victims are protected from retaliation in response to making a charge, filing a complaint, assisting or participating in a harassment investigation, or testifying in a harassment case, proceeding, or hearing. Illinoisans are also protected from retaliation in response to using or attempting to use a reasonable accommodation allowed under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Victims of sexual harassment have 300 days to file a report in the state of IL, except in Chicago, where they have 365 days to file. Calls to the IL Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline at 1-877-236-7703 are confidential and can be made anonymously. Helpline representatives can help callers navigate their numerous reporting options and share additional information related to counseling, legal assistance, and frequently asked questions.
Resolutions to sexual harassment come in a variety of forms in the state of IL. In the City of Chicago, penalties for sexual harassment range from $5,000 to $10,000 per violation. In IL, some resolutions to sexual harassment include back pay, lost benefits, clearing of the personnel file, emotional damages, hiring, promotion, reinstatement, front pay, and attorney's costs and fees.
Benefits of Bystander Intervention Training
Bystander intervention training is a powerful tool that can help protect communities and individuals from harm. Bystander intervention involves teaching people how to recognize and safely intervene when they witness a potentially harmful situation. These types of courses can be used to help prevent crimes, like sexual assault, bullying, and harassment. It can also be used to promote a sense of safety and community in a variety of settings.
Bystander intervention programs teach people to recognize potentially harmful situations and to take action to help those in need. Through this training, people can learn how to make a successful intervention in a safe way, potentially de-escalating a situation and preventing further harm. Bystander intervention training also teaches people to recognize the signs of potential harm and to trust their instincts if they feel something is wrong.
Bystander intervention training can also help to foster a sense of community and safety in a variety of settings. Seeing others take action to help those in need can help to cultivate an atmosphere of respect, trust, and compassion. Additionally, bystander intervention courses can help to reduce the stigma around speaking out against harmful behavior.
What’s Next for Chicagoans?
If you’d like to implement Chicago Bystander Intervention Training in your workplace, you can take the first step toward developing a safer company culture with EasyLlama. With our Bystander Intervention courses, employees will be equipped to recognize, handle, and avoid harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Get your free course preview now to learn more about our dynamic and engaging training techniques.