Fort McCoy News Feb. 24, 2017

Commentary: Bystanders can make a difference

BY SARAH SULLIVAN
Army Community Service

Since 2017 Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention training focuses on bystander intervention, people have been sharing stories during class of when they or someone they know has intervened in all sorts of situations.

At times, participants have shared when they were on the receiving end of an intervention. It has been amazing to hear all the positive ways people here at Fort McCoy have addressed situations at home, at work, and in the community.

The following story was shared in one class by a participant, and it is an excellent example of the types of green dots being created throughout the community. (For more information on green dots, see "McCoy teens learn to intervene at Green Dot program.")

"A couple of years ago, one of our female co-workers was on the receiving end of unwanted attention by a man who worked in a different directorate.

"She would work out at Rumpel Fitness Center every day, and this man would approach her and talk to her, trying to get her to go out with him. He stated since they had the same heritage, "they needed to stick together." This went on for a while, so she decided to stop going to the fitness center because he was always there waiting for her.

"One day, he called her at the office, and she politely asked him not to call her. She then asked me to talk to him, but when I called, he wouldn't talk to me and got a bit angry. I knew where he worked, so after telling my supervisor about the situation, I called his work center and asked if I could speak to his supervisor regarding the problem.

"I relayed the situation, and the supervisor was upset this was going on. He immediately took care of the situation, to include telling the man not to approach her at the fitness center or anywhere unless it was work-related. My supervisor also spoke with his supervisor, as well, to ensure it wouldn't happen anymore."

Thank you all for helping make our Fort McCoy community so green!

If anyone has a bystander story, he or she would like to share, call Jamie Cram or Sarah Sullivan at Army Community Service at 608-388-3505.

Stories can be anonymous.