Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention

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This online course walks the participant through the concepts of a bystander intervention, describing how to encourage friends and family to deter and possibly prevent sexual violence. Then, through interactive exercises, the online course offers a series of suggested activities and scenarios that someone could use in an offline training.

Goal: To ensure that prevention efforts involve groups of people and communities in prevention (rather than what YOU can do, as what WE can do). Participants will:

  • Understand the role of engaged bystanders in preventing sexual violence
  • Use various tools that will help you to teach others about bystander intervention
  • Identify additional intervention opportunities to prevent sexual violence

The basic concept conveys a clear message that "you are not alone," an essential message for beginning to change social norms.

Impact: Most of the research on bystander intervention has been within college communities, but it has been effectively used in a much wider range of organizations and communities. This is a simple concept that can easily be integrated into any other prevention work.


  • Engaging Bystanders is also available as a pdf or a hard copy (at no charge) from the NSVRC.
  • A basic understanding of sexual violence is helpful before using this material.

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Notice of Federal Funding and Federal Disclaimer: This website is funded through Grant #90EV0410-03 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, Family Violence Prevention and Services Program [which incorporates funding provided by the National Center on Injury Prevention and Control/Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCIPC/CDC)]. Neither the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse this website including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided.

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