Archive | May 1, 2012

“Bystander Intervention: From Its Roots To The Road Ahead”

“Bystander Intervention: From Its Roots To The Road Ahead”

Presenter: Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP)

Location: Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Date: May 31-1, 2012

This will be a global conference devoted to exploring the roots of the bystander approach to gender violence prevention, and helping to set an agenda for next steps in the field. MVP is organizing this dynamic, international conference as an opportunity for educators, activists, funders and others to explore the history, development and current state of efforts to engage bystanders in the prevention of sexual and domestic violence.

Leading experts in the bystander intervention movement will discuss a range of issues, such as men and women working together; designing effective bystander initiatives in diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic environments; working with organized athletics and Greeks on college campuses; bystander pedagogy; and efforts to design comprehensive bystander initiatives that address gender violence but also bullying, gay-bashing and other significant social problems.

MVP Mission

MVP provides the leadership necessary, within sport and beyond, to address the global issues of sexism – especially men’s violence against women. In our advocacy efforts and training programs, we educate, inspire and empower men & women to prevent, interrupt and respond to sexist abuse.

MVP introduced bystander intervention to the gender violence prevention education field and has been on the cutting edge of its development since the early nineties. The chief curricular innovation of MVP is a training tool called the Playbook, which consists of a series of realistic scenarios depicting abusive male (and sometimes female) behavior. The Playbook – with separate versions for men and women — transports participants into scenarios as witnesses to actual or potential abuse then challenges them to consider a number of concrete options for intervention before, during, or after an incident. Many people mistakenly believe that they have only two options in instances of actual or potential violence: intervene physically and possibly expose themselves to personal harm, or do nothing. As a result, they often choose to do nothing.

But intervening physically or doing nothing are not the only possible choices. The MVP Model seeks to provide bystanders with numerous options, most of which carry no risk of personal injury. With more options to choose from, people are more likely to respond and not be passive and silent – and hence complicit – in violence or abuse by others. Many young men and women, and people in U.S. society in general, have been socialized to be passive bystanders in the face of sexist abuse and violence. This conditioning is reflected in the oft-heard statement that a situation “between a man and a woman” is “none of my business.”

MVP Training Goals

  • Raise participant awareness of underlying issues and unique dynamics of all forms of men’s violence against women
  • Challenge participants to think critically and personally (empathize) about these issues
  • Open dialogue amongst participants about the dynamics and context of all forms of men’s violence against women
  • Inspire participants to be proactive leaders around these issues by challenging them to develop concrete options for intervention in potentially dangerous situations involving peers

For more information about the conference, registration, lodging and participation opportunities, please go to

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art.

Source(s): Prevent-Connect.