Become an active bystander in all situations

NASHUA – Acts of intimidation can and do occur, and by participating in Active Bystander Training, one can develop skills and techniques to become more proactive in these types of situations.

For those who’ve witnessed or can imagine themselves witnessing an intimidating situation, United Way of Greater Nashua and the Granite State Organizing Project are partnering together to bring “Active ByStander Training” to the the Nashua community.

“It’s really geared toward any situation where a person is a witness to any act of intimidation, whether it’s bullying or something geared toward being intimidated because of gender, sexual orientation, race, a physical handicap or emotional deficit, etc.,” said Mike Apfelberg, president of the United Way of Greater Nashua.

This is their second time doing this training in Nashua, although it’s been done in other places. That’s how Apfelberg learned about it. He attended one put on by GSOP in Manchester and thought it would be great to bring to Nashua. Last year, the training attracted nearly 100 participants, ranging from middle school-aged kids to senior citizens.

This year’s training will be from 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the community room at Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua.

“We all often want to do something to help out and be supportive of a person being intimidated, but it’s really hard to do that if you don’t know or have practiced the right words, gestures and body language to use in those situations,” Apfelberg said.

For some placed in these situations, they’ll freeze up and not know what to do or how to help. This training will help people with intervening in a way which is supportive and doesn’t lead to more aggression.

“I think of it as a big toolbox we all carry around with us to deal with life, and this is one set of tools you develop to be supportive when witnessing intimidation. This is not the training where we’re trying to solve world peace, but we’re trying to really give people tools and techniques to be more proactive,” Apfelberg said.

The event is free and open to the public and also includes a light dinner. Those interested must register online to attend the event at

“We want to draw as diverse a group as possible, whatever background, age or economic situation. We would like to draw from anybody and everybody in the community,” Apfelberg said.