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Friday, December 02, 2022

GatorWell will offer sexual violence prevention programs to bring attention to consent on campus.

GatorWell has introduced a “Yes Means Yes” seminar and a “Bringing in the Bystander” intervention training to empower students.

“You learn certain things in high school health class or other health classes, but it’s not this,” said Rita Lawrence, GatorWell interpersonal violence prevention coordinator. 

So far, 21 people have applied for “Yes Means Yes,” a five-week, non-credit seminar that meets Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. starting Oct. 8. The seminar, which has 35 spots available, will feature guest speakers and discussions on sex topics. 

Lawrence said the seminar will help people feel comfortable with their sexuality and teach them about what equality means for society.

“When sexual assault happens, ‘Oh, that’s a women’s issue,’” she said. “No, it isn’t. It affects everyone because everyone knows and loves those women. Those are the mothers and partners and best friends, so when someone is hurt by sexual violence, everyone suffers.”

Sylvia Stankov, a UF microbiology sophomore, said she understands the importance of teaching consent.

“Whether you say yes or no in any situation,” Stankov, 19, said, “whether it’s sexual or not, it has some power behind those words.”

For students with less time, GatorWell provides another option: “Bringing in the Bystander.” The 90-minute training teaches students how they can intervene. 

Students can apply for both programs online, but they have until Thursday to apply online for the Yes Means Yes seminar at gatorwell.ufsa.ufl.edu/interpersonal-violence-prevention.

[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 9/22/2014 under the headline "GatorWell introduces programs to prevent sexual violence"]

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