Bystander Intervention: Background and General Information

Construction-workers-on-streetThis section provides background and general information on the bystander approach to sexual violence.  Advocates, preventionists, and community members can use these resources to learn about bystander intervention and how it is an effective approach to preventing sexual violence.  

Bystanders: Agents of Primary Prevention (16 p.) by Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (2010). This newsletter is entirely devoted to the bystander intervention approach to primary prevention and explores various campaigns.

Research on Bystander Programs Highlighted in Journal (webpage) by David Lee (2011).  This webpost discusses research on bystander intervention programs.  Listen to the accompanying podcast of the article.

Bystander Approaches: Responding to and Preventing Men’s Violence Against Women (20 p.) by Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (2014).  This article discusses the bystander approach to sexual violence prevention, an overview of successful programs and best practices, and includes a discussion of challenges to implementing a program. 

Encourage. Support. Act! Bystander Approaches to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (29 p.) by Paula McDonlad & Michael Flood (2012).  This report discusses how the bystander approach can be used to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Stop Sexual Violence: A Sexual Violence Bystander Intervention Toolkit (36 p.) by New York State Department of Health (2013).  This toolkit describes the bystander approach and provides information on engaging with different populations such as youth, men, and women.  An extensive list of resources and bystander campaigns is also available.   

Moving Beyond Individual Level Bystander Intervention Strategies: Why & How? (2 p.) by Hannah Larson, Jennifer Rauhouse & Shana Tobkin (2011).  Through work with the STAND & SERVE initiative, these preventionists discuss making bystander intervention an action-oriented approach to prevention.

A Different World is Possible: Promising Practices to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (66 p.) By María Baños Smith (2011).  This report discusses 15 innovative case studies of promising prevention programs in the United Kingdom.  Programs highlighted include workshops with boys, programs working with drama groups and girls at risk, and training bystanders to intervene to challenge the attitudes of their peers. 

Sexual Violence Prevention Through Bystander Education: An experimental evaluation (19 p.) by Victoria L. Banyard, Mary M Moynihan, and Elizabethe G. Plante (2007).  This research article presents the results of a study evaluating the effectiveness of a bystander education program.  The study found that both men and women who participated showed positive changes in behaviors over time.

Back to the beginning
Bystander Intervention: NSVRC Publications and Resources
Bystander Intervention: Online Learning Opportunities
Bystander Intervention: Campaigns and Programs