- training intended to sensitize people to their attitudes and behaviors that may unwittingly cause offense to others, especially members of various minorities. (Oxford, 2020).
So, what is sensitivity training and why do we need it?
As our society advances and seeks to become more inclusive, sensitivity training is relevant now more than ever before. In the realm of sexual violence and harassment, sensitivity training offers the opportunity to bridge systematic gaps between professionals (medical/legal/educators/law enforcement/corporate), bystanders, and survivors. Engaging in sensitivity training can transform interactions between a patient and a medical professional, a lawyer and client, supervisor, and employee - and the list goes on. Globally, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by sexual violence in their lifetime. Despite this, comprehensive sensitivity training for professionals that come in direct contact with survivors after experiencing violating or traumatic situations has yet to become the norm.
Engaging in sensitivity training can dramatically improve the foundations of reporting systems from a medical/legal context and within the workplace. Not only will sensitivity training provide professionals with the tools they require to navigate the reporting process effectively with a survivor, but it also creates a safe and supportive environment where a survivor will transparently share their experiences and in turn feel that their voice has been heard. In turn, this provides public institutions and corporate entities with a restored sense of trust amongst survivors while minimizing legal liability. A sensitive approach upholds accountability for one's actions and can lead to decreased rates of sexual harassment and violence amongst employees. In the case of reports being made via public institutions (reporting to police or medical institutions), survivors may begin reporting at higher rates due to a restored trust in the reporting system when sensitive approaches are being upheld consistently.
I understand why sensitivity training is important but why saef co.?
saef co. is led by survivors, strengthening the reporting system based on research and first-hand experiences. Our team has compiled the lived experiences of hundreds of survivors globally, combined with research from accredited sources, to provide a trauma-informed approach to sensitivity training. Who better to educate professionals on what survivors require for a sensitive approach to reporting than a survivor who has experienced the process first hand?
Over the span of two years, She Matters piloted our Survivor-Led Sensitivity Training to 200+ medical professionals and law enforcement officials across two continents. Pilot partners included Nairobi Women's Hospital Gender Violence Recovery Centre, Greater Sudbury Police Services, and Nairobi County Government. Since developing the initial Survivor-Led Sensitivity Training curriculum in 2018, She Matters has expanded to implement a variety of virtual service offerings in November 2020 with an official launch to the public under our partner social enterprise, saef co., on March 8th, 2021.
saef co. training covers the following areas:
- Navigating Gender Bias
- The Importance of Sensitive Language
- Active Listening
- Trauma-Informed Interviewing Techniques
- Compassionate Care
- Consent in Medical Examinations
- Minimizing Re-Traumatization During Sexual Assault Examinations
- The Impact of Survivor Advocacy Throughout the Reporting Process
- Understanding Survivors Rights (Canada - UK, US, and Kenya coming in 2021)
- Navigating Socioeconomic and Racial Bias (note: we do not provide in-depth anti-racism training, however, we do provide referrals to experts in this field)
- Navigating General Sensitivity in Reproductive Health
- Building a Sensitive and Supportive Environment for Survivors to Report
- Sexual Harassment and Violence Training
How do I know if Sensitivity Training is right for my workplace/job sector?
Do you work with men, women, or non-binary folks?
Do you serve the community?
If so, then sensitivity training is right for you.
Even during a global pandemic where many of us are working remotely, reporting sexual violence and harassment will still take place. Virtually or in-person, consent and professionalism need to be maintained.
It's important to remember, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experience sexual violence in their lifetime. These are your sisters, mothers, brothers, coworkers, clients, and peers. If you work alongside other human beings or serve the public, you should be engaging in sensitivity training.
Sensitivity training is for everyone.
Should you have any questions related to saef co. Sensitivity Training offerings, please reach out via email at [email protected]aef.co or [email protected]
We're Stronger Together.