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Program Profile: Bringing in the Bystander

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on June 10, 2011

Program Summary

The goal of the program is to increase bystander awareness of sexual and intimate partner violence and expand an individual’s sense of responsibility to help prevent and intervene in instances of sexual and intimate partner violence. The program was rated Promising. The program improved knowledge of rape myth acceptance, and bystander attitude, behavior, and efficacy among program participants, compared with nonparticipants.

Program Description

Program Goals/Target Population
Bringing in the Bystander is a sexual violence prevention program aimed at increasing, among potential bystanders and third-person witnesses, prosocial attitudes and behaviors toward and awareness of risky behaviors and precursors to sexual victimization. It also aims to increase empathy and awareness of the problems experienced by those victimized by sexual and intimate partner violence.
 
The program emphasizes that all members of the community have a role to play in preventing sexual and intimate partner violence. Bringing in the Bystander is often implemented in a university campus setting to college students. College-age students are part of a population whose age group and environmental setting would expose them to situations in which they might witness potential sexual and intimate partner violence.
 
Program Components/Key Personnel
The Bringing in the Bystander program is typically implemented over 4.5 hours during the course of several sessions, but an abbreviated 90-minute version is also available.  A booster session may be delivered after 2 months. The program’s content is made up of several elements that work to increase awareness of sexual and intimate partner violence and to promote prosocial attitudes and behaviors aimed at preventing and intervening in such instances. These elements include
  • Information about sexual and intimate partner violence prevalence, causes, and consequences, including local examples and statistics
  • The introduction of the concept of bystander responsibility and the role bystanders can play in preventing sexual and intimate partner violence in risky situations
  • Active exercises (e.g., role playing) to practice intervening safely and to support victims
  • Information about personal safety and availability of community resources
  • A bystander pledge to become a prosocial and active bystander in the community
The program is administered by professional co-facilitators or by peer facilitators trained in the program who lead discussions and exercises and deliver the intervention. The facilitators include both male and female professionals or students who have some leadership and facilitation experience and an expressed interest in preventing sexual violence. They are trained in two, 3-hour sessions. The facilitators work in male–female pairs to deliver the program to single-sex groups. During training, facilitators receive information on the program and how it differs from other types of interventions, as well as guidelines on how to deliver the curriculum successfully.
 
Program Theory
Theories of community responsibility and bystander behavior emphasize the importance of a larger community response toward preventing sexual and intimate partner violence. The program focuses on expanding this awareness to the larger community by not solely focusing on intervening on potential victims or perpetrators. Instead, the program provides groups of individuals in the community with the skills and knowledge to intervene by interrupting situations before or during an incident, speaking out against social norms supportive of sexual and intimate partner violence, and being an ally of those victimized.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Knowledge and Rape Myth Acceptance
Banyard and colleagues (2007) found that, from pretest to posttest and at the 2-month follow up, the Bringing in the Bystander intervention significantly improved both treatment groups’ knowledge of sexual violence, compared with the control group. Similarly, from pretest to posttest and at the 2-month follow up, the treatment groups’ scores for rape myth acceptance were significantly different than those of the control group. This indicated significantly less acceptance of rape myths among the intervention groups.
 
Bystander Attitude, Behavior, and Efficacy
The results further showed significant differences in bystander attitudes (likelihood of intervening), efficacy (confidence in ability to intervene), and behavior (actions taken in the previous 2 months) between the treatment groups and the control group, from pretest to posttest and at the 2-month follow up. This indicates that the intervention was successful in improving bystander awareness and prosocial behaviors to prevent or intervene in instances of sexual violence.
 
Study 2
Bystander Behavior- Helping Friends
Moynihan and colleagues (2014) found that from pretest to 12-month follow up, the Bringing in the Bystander intervention significantly improved the treatment group’s use of helping behavior toward friends, compared with the control group.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Banyard and colleagues (2007) used a randomized experiment to evaluate the effects of the Bringing in the Bystander treatment on attitudes, knowledge, and behavior on the intervention group. Participants in the study were recruited from the undergraduate cohort of the University of New Hampshire, through flyers at the student center. Participants were between the ages of 18 and 23, and were paid for their participation.
 
The pretest sample (n=389) was 55.8 percent female, with an average age of 19.4 years. The sample was 90 percent white; 38 percent were in their first year (29.4 percent were sophomores, 19.8 percent were juniors, and 12.4 percent were seniors). The participants were randomized into three groups: a control group (n=115), a one-session treatment group (n=137), and a three-session treatment group (n=137).
 
The study was implemented in two waves during successive academic years. Participants filled out pretest, posttest, and 2-month follow-up questionnaires, as well as 12-month follow ups for the first wave group and 4-month follow ups for the second-wave group. With the exception of gender at the 12-month follow up, there were no differences between groups, or waves.
 
The study used the same measures at all periods. These included a knowledge assessment (of sexual violence and prosocial bystander behaviors) component, the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale–Short Form, the College Date Rape Attitude Survey, bystander attitudes, behaviors and efficacy scales, and a decisional balance scale. The bystander attitudes, efficacy, and behavior measurement instruments were created and piloted by the program developers for this study.
 
The control group received no prevention program, completing only the questionnaire at each period. Those in the control group were also given a list of community and college resources at the posttest. The one-session group received a single 90-minute prevention session led by a team of peer leaders (one male and one female) in sex-specific groups. The three-session intervention group received three similar 90-minute sessions during a single week with expanded content.
 
The effects of the intervention on the three groups (and gender) were studied using repeated multiple analysis of covariance (or MANCOVA) over the pretest, posttest, and 2-month follow up. Multiple analysis of variance (or MANOVA) was used to examine differences between pre- and posttest.
 
The data collected at the 4-month and 12-month follow ups was only used in an exploratory analysis, since the sample sizes were much smaller (due to the different waves of collection and attrition).
 
Study 2
Moynihan and colleagues (2014) used a randomized experiment to evaluate the effects of Bringing in the Bystander on bystander behaviors, up to 1 year following program implementation. Participants ranged between 18 and 24 years old, were recruited from two public New England university campuses, and were paid for their participation.

Participants were first-year students who were recruited by flyers, announcements in class, weekly meetings with resident advisors, and email announcements. One campus recruited three cohorts and the other recruited two cohorts of participants.
 
The sample included 948 participants who took the pretest (550 and 398 from the two campuses) and was evenly distributed between men (51.5 percent) and women (47.8 percent), with three subjects identifying as transgender. The participants were mainly white (85.2 percent). There were no significant differences between the program participants and the control group at the pretest.
 
Approximately 2 weeks after completing the pretest, all participants on both campuses were exposed to the Know Your Power Bystander social marketing campaign for 6 weeks during the second half of the spring semester of their 1st year. Program participants took part in the Bringing in the Bystander in-person program (4.5 hrs. across multiple sessions).
 
Twelve months following the program, 346 participants took a follow-up survey and could be matched with the pretest data, resulting in a 36.5 percent retention rate. The only significant difference between the participants who were retained and those who were not was that the participants who completed the 12-month survey were more likely to be women (53.5 percent).
 
The Bystander Behavior Scale (Banyard et al. 2014) was used to measure bystander behavior related to sexual and relationship violence that a participant engaged in during the past 2 months, specifically directed at helping friends. The scale included 49 items on behaviors directed at helping a friend. For example, on item on the scale states “I expressed disagreement with a friend who said having sex with someone who is passed out or very intoxicated is okay.” Participants responded yes or no to each item. The study used longitudinal regression models to analyze the 12-month follow-up data.
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Cost

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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Implementation Information

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Information on implementation, including training, can be found on the University of New Hampshire Web site: http://cola.unh.edu/prevention-innovations-research-center/bringing-bystander%C2%AE-person-prevention-program
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Banyard, Victoria L., Mary M. Moynihan, and Elizabethe G. Plante. 2007. “Sexual Violence Prevention Through Bystander Education: An Experimental Evaluation.” Journal of Community Psychology 35(4):463–81.
http://www.ncdsv.org/images/Sex%20Violence%20Prevention%20through%20Bystander%20Education.pdf

Study 2
Moynihan, Mary M., Victoria L. Banyard, Alison C. Cares, Sharyn J. Potter, Linda M. Williams, and Jane G. Stapleton. 2014. “Encouraging Responses in Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention: What Program Effects Remain 1 Year Later?” Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Published online May 20, 2014.

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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Banyard, Victoria L. 2008. "Measurement and correlates of pro-social bystander behavior: The case of interpersonal violence." Violence and Victims 23:85-99.

Banyard, Victoria L., R. Eckstein, and Mary M. Moynihan. 2010. "Sexual violence prevention: The role of stages of change." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25:111-135.

Moynihan, Mary M., Victoria L. Banyard, Alison C. Cares, Sharyn J. Potter, Linda M. Williams, and Jane G. Stapleton. 2014. “Encouraging Responses in Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention: What Program Effects Remain 1 Year Later?” Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Published online May 20, 2014.

Banyard, Victoria L., Mary M. Moynihan, and Maria T. Crossman. 2009. “Reducing Violence on Campus: The Role of Student Leaders as Empowered Bystanders.” Journal of College Student Development 40(4):446–57.

Banyard, Victoria L., Elizabeth G. Plante, and Mary M. Moynihan. 2005. Rape Prevention Through Bystander Education: Bringing a Broader Community Perspective to Sexual Violence Prevention. Final Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.
http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/208701.pdf

Moynihan, Mary M. and Victoria L. Banyard. 2008. "Community Responsibility for Preventing Sexual Violence: A Pilot with Campus Greeks and Intercollegiate Athletes." Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community 36:23-38.

Moynihan, Mary M., and Victoria L. Banyard. 2009. “Improving Individuals’ Change in Response to Sexual Violence: Reducing Backlash Using a Bystander Approach.” Sexual Assault Report 12:49–50+.

Moynihan, Mary M., Victoria L. Banyard, Julie S. Arnold, Robert P. Eckstein, and Jane G. Stapleton. 2010. “Engaging Intercollegiate Athletes in Preventing and Intervening in Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence.” Journal of American College Health 59:197–204.

Moynihan, Mary M., Victoria L. Banyard, Julie S. Arnold, Robert P. Eckstein, and Jane G. Stapleton. 2011. “Sisterhood May Be Powerful in Reducing Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence: An Evaluation of the Bringing in the Bystander In-Person Program With Sorority Members.” Violence Against Women 17:703-719.

Potter, S. J., and Mary M. Moynihan. 2011. "Bringing in the Bystander In-Person Prevention Program to a US Military Installation: Results from a Pilot Study." Military Medicine 176:870-875.
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Program Snapshot

Age: 18 - 24

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: White

Geography: Rural, Urban

Setting (Delivery): Campus

Program Type: Community Awareness/Mobilization, Gender-Specific Programming, Situational Crime Prevention, Violence Prevention, Specific deterrence

Targeted Population: Victims of Crime

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide

Program Developer:
Mary Moynihan
Research Associate Professor
Prevention Innovations, University of New Hampshire
206 Huddleston Hall, 73 Main Street
Durham NH 03824
Phone: 603-862-2675
Website
Email

Program Developer:
Robert Eckstein
Lead Trainer and Curriculum Development Specialist
Prevention Innovations, University of New Hampshire
206 Huddleston Hall, 73 Main Street
Durham NH 03824
Phone: 603-862-1242
Fax: 603-862-2966
Website
Email

Researcher:
Mary Moynihan
Research Associate Professor
Prevention Innovations, University of New Hampshire
206 Huddleston Hall, 73 Main Street
Durham NH 03824
Phone: 603-862-2675
Website
Email

Researcher:
Victoria Banyard
Professor
Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire
10 Library Way
Durham NH 03824
Email