We will discuss the leading program models for bystander intervention, including recent evaluation research.

In this topic we will discuss the leading program models for bystander intervention, including recent evaluation research.  Feel free to share your thoughts.

We have had specific questions this week about middle school models and available research.  Do you have any specific information on what is most effective with this population?

Banyard, V. L., Eckstein, R., & Moynihan, M. M. (2009). Sexual violence prevention: The role of stages of change. Journal of Interpersonal Violence apply Prochaska and DiClemente's Readiness for Change model to bystander intervention. They show that the stage of change an individual is in has an impact on bystander prevention related attitudes, behaviors, and impact of education programs. Do you use this model to inform your work? If so, how? What other theories of health behavior change guide the work you are doing?

We know from social psychology research that a number of factors make it more likely that someone will intervene:

1. They notice the problem and label it as a problem along the continuum of sexual violence. They can see risk factors.

2. They feel responsibility for helping (they see a role to play, they don't blame the victim).

In-person prevention programs that focus on working with small groups of participants and building their awareness and skills about sexual violence using a bystander framework are the type of bystander focused prevention that has been around the longest. Initially developed by Jackson Katz and the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program using a social justice approach, many versions of such programs now exist. Unfortunately to date evaluation research on these programs has not kept pace with their development.

Another prevention tool that has been used with a bystander framework is interactive theater. The advantage of this tool is that it can reach large audiences like social marketing campaigns but in a more active learning modality like smaller education programs. There are a number of examples of these on college campuses and all have been or are in the process of being evaluated with promising results so far.

Here are a few examples:

One prevention tool that has focused on bystanders is social marketing campaigns. These tools blanket communities with awareness messages about prevention to try to mobilize bystanders. Examples of these tools are growing in number though few have been rigorously evaluated.

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