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Bystander Intervention Resources

Last Update: March 2, 2020

This online resource collection offers advocates and preventionists information and resources on bystander intervention. It includes resources to use with community members, as well as information and research on the effectiveness of bystander intervention.

This is not a comprehensive list of all of the materials related to sexual violence and the bystander intervention; however, these materials are all available online. Check out the top resources on bystander intervention in the NSVRC library.Please contact us if you require additional assistance.

This 4 part collection was developed for use by advocates, preventionists, and community members. The parts of the collection are listed below:

Background and General Information
NSVRC Publications and Resources
Online Learning Opportunities
Campaigns and Programs

This collection supports the NSVRC Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence Information Packet.

Background and General Information

The information in this 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. 

No More (webpage) This webpage provides information on intervening and real-life bystander scenarios and offers additional online resources on bystander intervention. 

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 is for educators and others working with young people.  It describes the bystander approach and provides an overview of different programs designed for middle, high school, and college-aged youth.

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.

NSVRC Publications and Resources

The following are resources produced by the NSVRC.

Bystander Intervention Tips and Strategies (3p.) by NSVRC (2018). This tip sheet explains why bystander intervention is important and includes strategies on how to intervene.

What can you learn in 10 minutes about measuring bystander intervention? (blog post) by Sally Laskey (2020). This blog post highlights a conversation with researcher Rose Hennessy from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee on measuring bystander intervention. You can listen to the 10 minute conversation or listen to the extended conversation!

Media Packet: Engaging Bystanders (2p.) by NSVRC (2015).  This fact sheet is a part of the Media Packet for journalists on the basics of bystander intervention. Practical examples are also included. 

Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention (56 p.) by Joan Tabachnick (2009). This booklet provides background information on the bystander intervention approach and serves as a training resource by providing activities and trainer instructions.  Also available, an interview conducted in Spanish on culturally relevant prevention to compliment the Spanish version of the booklet.

Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence: A Guide for Preventionists (44 p.) by Jennifer Benner (2013). This guide is intended to help support advocates and preventionists in creating and sustaining bystander intervention programs in their communities.  This guide highlights six program and their unique approach to bystander intervention and provides lessons learned This guide is a part of the Engaging Bystanders to Prevention Sexual Violence Information Packet

Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence: Bulletin (8 p.) by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2013). This bulletin provides community members with tips on how to intervene to prevent sexual violence, examples of bystander intervention, and a list of resources. This bulletin is a part of the Engaging Bystanders to Prevention Sexual Violence Information Packet

Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence: Resource List (4 p.) by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2013). This resource list provides advocates and preventonists important resources to use when working in their communities and with community partners to develop, implement and sustain bystander intervention programs. There are publications, websites, mobile apps, Spanish language resources and training tools listed. This resource list is a part of the Engaging Bystanders to Prevention Sexual Violence Information Packet.

Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence: Overview (4 p.) by Mary Moynihan (2013). This document provides an overview of bystander intervention, including key features and successful bystander education prevention programs. This overview is a part of the Engaging Bystanders to Prevention Sexual Violence Information Packet

Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence: Annotated Bibliography (8 p.) by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2013). This document features research articles, books, and presentation materials on bystander intervention theory and programs in various settings. This annotated bibliography is a part of the Engaging Bystanders to Prevention Sexual Violence Information Packet

Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence: Research Brief (16 p.) by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2013).  The research reviewed in this brief provides insight into the mobilization of bystander behavior. Each study includes an application section, which provides advocates and preventionists information about how they can use this study in their work. This research brief is a part of the Engaging Bystanders to Prevention Sexual Violence Information Packet

Online Learning Opportunities

There are many online learning tools and opportunities to learn about the bystander approach. This section lists a selection of the many tools available.

Bystander Intervention: Focusing on Social Justice (recorded webinar) by PreventConnect. In this 1.5 hour long recorded webinar presenters discussed bystander intervention strategies and how social justice is linked to this work.

PreventConnect Wiki on Bystander Intervention (webpage) A user generated web site with information about developing, implementing and evaluating bystander intervention efforts.

Beyond Bystander Intervention: Addressing Power-Based Violence and Rape Culture on the College Campus (podcast) by Vickie Sides, Rachel Caidor and Sari Lipsett for PreventConnect (2014). (19 min) This podcast reflects on the session entitled Beyond bystander intervention: Addressing power-based violence and rape culture on the college campus held at the 2013 National Sexual Assault Conference. This podcast discusses moving the conversation beyond individual change behavior models to models that engage intervention more broadly.

Active Bystanders: Interactive Scenarios (webpage) by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These interactive bystander scenarios explore the consequences of various approaches in different situations based on user responses.

Campaigns and Programs

There are many organizations and programs doing bystander work, below are some of those programs. Many of the programs highlighted in this section have online training materials and other resources available online.

It’s On Us (webpage) Founded in 2014 to launch the recommendations from the White House Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault with the goal of getting everyone involved in preventing campus sexual assault.  For the 2019-2020 school year, It’s On Us has over 250 registered campus chapters.

Stand up, Don’t stand by (webpage) NO MORE, Uber, local law enforcement, the nightlife community, and local rape crisis centers partnered together to create this campaign to  ensure safe and fun evenings out. Downloadable posters with tips and social media graphics are available online.  

Bringing in the Bystander Campaign (webpage) Using a bystander intervention approach combined with a research component, this program assumes that everyone has a role to play in prevention. The research component measures how effective the program is within different communities.

Know Your Power (webpage) The Know Your Power campaign is a  social marketing campaign focused on reducing sexual, relationship violence, and stalking on college campuses.The campaign can be used on its own or in combination with the Bringing in the Bystander in person prevention program. Information about the campaign, resources, checklist for engaged bystander actions and a store are available on the website.  PreventConnect also blogged about this campaign and related research.   

Circle of 6 (webpage) The Circle of 6 App won the White House Apps Against Abuse Challenge in 2011. Using a pre-programmed list of six close contacts and an icon system to call for help, assistance, or advice, this app offers a discreet way to reach out for bystander assistance.

Green Dot campaign (webpage). The Green Dot campaign is based on the idea that peer influence often predicts behavior. In instances of harmful or violent words, actions, or behaviors, each person has a choice to ignore or accept (a red dot) or intervene to address it (a green dot).

Hollaback!: I’ve got your back! (webpage) I’ve got your back! is the bystander intervention campaign by Hollaback! Hollaback! and Green Dot teamed up to create this campaign. It emphasizes use of digital and social media to help confront harassing and violent public behaviors. Also, see the PreventConnect interview I’ve Got Your Back: Bystander Intervention for Street Harassment and infographic How to intervene if you see harassment happening.

MVP Strategies Mentors in Violence Prevention (webpage) The MVP Program motivates men and women to work together in preventing men’s violence against women. The MVP bystander approach uses proactive, preventative behavior, and leadership rather than blame for the problems of gendered violence.

Step Up! Sexual Assault Bystander Intervention (webpage) by The University of Arizona. STEP UP! is a pro-social behavior and bystander intervention program that educates students to be proactive in helping others. The site includes scenarios, questions, definitions and considerations, action steps and resources.

Stop Street Harassment (webpage). This organization is dedicated to ending street harassment internationally. Their website has an online resource center for information on street harassment. Stop Street Harassment organizes the International Anti-Street Harassment Week.

That’s Not Cool (webpage) by Futures without Violence and the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, and the Ad Council. The site is geared towards teens with a focus on privacy, healthy communication, healthy relationships, and technology.

The Red Flag Campaign (webpage) The Red Flag Campaign uses a bystander infused approach to increase public awareness of dating violence and promote the prevention of dating violence on college campuses.