According to the Utah Department of Health, more than 3,000 men, women and children entered shelters to escape domestic violence in 2012.
At Weber State University, the new Haven online training program can help students learn the signs of domestic violence and what they can do to help others.
“The online Haven training is one of the multiple components of the Safe@Weber program,” said WSU Women’s Center director Stephanie McClure. “The Haven training is what we refer to as the base of Safe@Weber’s prevention program.”
McClure said the training takes about 45 minutes to complete, but students can do the training at their own pace. If they want to, they can stop and pick up where they left off at a later point in time.
The training provides students with information on what services are available at Weber State for victims of domestic or sexual violence and also teaches students about what they can do as bystanders.
“A lot of times we talk about how it is important to teach folks to become active bystanders as opposed to passive bystanders,” McClure said. “We’re trying to build a community that holds each other accountable, that supports each other and steps in and steps up if there’s problematic behavior happening.”
Weber State Police Chief Dane LeBlanc stressed the importance of the Haven training and how important it is to know what to do when being a bystander.
“You’d be amazed by how many people see a bad situation and don’t do anything about it,” LeBlanc said. “(Haven) will teach you why it’s important to be a bystander, how to intervene and to make sure somebody doesn’t succumb to being a victim to some sexual crime or a bad relationship or dating violence or even a stalking case.”
McClure said that she has received positive feedback from students who have completed the training and some students have brought up the question of how to make more people on campus complete the training.
“Many students have come to me and asked how can we make sure every single student on campus does this training, and that is the goal we are hoping to get there eventually.”
LeBlanc said that he would like to see the university require that all students complete the Haven training. One way he suggested to make sure students completed Haven was to make it a requirement to complete the training before students could be allowed to register for classes.
McClure said that the university is looking into making the Haven training mandatory to all students, and putting a hold on registering for classes until the training is completed is one of the options they are looking at.
While she couldn’t say for certain what would happen yet as the issue is still being discussed, she expects that there will be some changes implemented beginning next year.
Students can access the Haven training through the WSU Police Department’s website at weber.edu/police/everfihaven.html