Bystander Intervention has received a lot of attention from educators and advocates in the last few years. The most recent guidance from the Department of Education about Title IX recommends that schools provide training to students on “strategies and skills for bystanders to intervene to prevent possible sexual violence.” The White House’s first report on campus sexual violence pointed to bystander intervention as a “promising prevention strategy” that schools should be implementing on their campuses.
Fortunately, there are already numerous resources available to schools to begin developing their own bystander training. Alongside the White House’s report, the CDC released a document outlining what’s involved in building a bystander program. It provides a great starting point. Below are some more resources you can use to educate trainers about how to teach bystander intervention as well as videos and other materials you can use in workshops with students.
This series of short videos by renowned consultant on social justice issues Alan Berkowitz provides a good resource for staff and faculty who are preparing bystander workshops or materials. Berkowitz tells stories of intervention and the principles they illustrate.
Mary Gentile teaches ethical decision-making and values-driven leadership for business schools. Although these topics might seem a far cry from sexual violence, they’re not. Her book and workshops focus on teaching students how to speak up and step in when they see something wrong. At the center of her approach is the idea that most ethics education focuses too much on recognizing ethical dilemmas and debating the nuances of them as opposed to responding to ethical dilemmas. Her book and website are full of resources that could be adapted to bystander training for students, staff, and faculty around issues of sexual violence.
This video went viral last year. From a New Zealand multi-media campaign aimed at stopping sexual violence, it illustrates all the different people who could have intervened in one evening to stop a sexual assault. The video could fit well into workshops about sexual violence, consent, and, of course, bystander intervention.
This website includes a 10 minute video on “Engaging Bystanders in Violence Against Women Prevention,” which can be a nice introduction for staff or administrators unfamiliar with the approach. The website also includes a good list of videos you can use to discuss bystander intervention strategies, including several clips from the ABC show “What Would You Do?” that involve bystander action around sexual harassment and potential sexual violence.
As part of its effort to curb sexual violence, the White House has started an awareness campaign to promote intervening behaviors. The website includes some good resources, including videos.
“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.”
A nice site with some advice on effective intervention strategies as well as a few interactive scenarios students or facilitators could use to practice bystander skills.
A comprehensive bystander intervention program, Step Up offers a lot of great free resources to help staff develop bystander programs on their campuses. It offers great guides on developing effective bystander scripts. One of the great things about Step Up is that they broaden intervention beyond sexual violence to include issues like drinking, anger, and academic honesty. It is another valuable resource for students and educators. In particular, check out their library of videos that you can use to facilitate discussions about how to intervene and barriers to intervention.
David Lisak’s homepage offers some valuable resources on understanding predators and the predatory nature of sexual violence.
Created during the Steubenville rape trial by two University of Oregon students, this short, simple video conveys a powerful message about treating women with respect. The video was honored with a Peabody Award, the first viral video to receive that accolade.