Bringing in the Bystander®

Bringing in the Bystander® is a bystander intervention workshop with a robust evidence-base. Rather than focusing strictly on the roles of perpetrator and victim, the highly interactive Bringing The Bystander® curriculum uses a community responsibility approach. It teaches bystanders how to safely intervene in instances where sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking  may be occurring or where there may be risk that it will occur.

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Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
Bringing in the Bystander®
Supported By Evidence
  • In-person Workshop
  • Undergraduate students
Focus on healthy relationships
Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • gain an understanding of what bystander responsibility is through the presentation of concepts and examples
  • have the opportunity to apply the concept of bystander responsibility to their own past experiences
  • gain an understanding of individual and situational factors that facilitate appropriate bystander intervention
  • have the opportunity to apply the concept of bystander responsibility to sexual and relationship violence and stalking
  • be able to identify the range of unacceptable sexual behaviors and become aware of the prevalence and context of sexual violence
  • understand the variety of negative consequences of sexual and relationship violence and stalking for victims and communities
  • increase their empathy for victims
  • understand the role community members can play in preventing sexual and relationship violence and stalking and reducing its negative consequences
  • cultivate skills in identifying situations where bystander intervention may be appropriate
  • gain experience in working through the decision process with regard to bystander behaviors including the costs and benefits of intervention
  • gain knowledge of resources that are available to support bystanders and victim/survivors
  • express motivation and commitment to be an active bystander
  • be able to describe the range of potential bystander behaviors and situations where action might be appropriate
  • gain experience in working through the decision process with regard to bystander behaviors including the costs and benefits of intervention
  • gain knowledge of resources that are available to support bystanders and victim/survivors

Trainings aim to engage campus community members as stake holders in issues of sexual violence, equip them with skills to identify and intervene safely in risky situations, and build empathy for survivors of sexual violence. Components of the program include an introduction to bystander responsibility within communities, local community examples and statistics, active learning exercises about the sexual violence continuum, and discussions about identifying risky situations and choosing safe, effective interventions. At the close of training participants sign bystander pledges and receive ABC (Active Bystanders Care) cards as reminders of the decision making process for intervening.

The program includes interactive discussion in which participants talk generally about helping others or being helped by others in certain situations. Facilitators and participants discuss what makes intervention more or less difficult in particular situations. Facilitators also help participants define sexual violence and discuss concrete examples of it, while providing statistics about sexual violence within their community and more broadly.


The program can be administered in 1 session or 3 sessions. Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes.


A two-person team, one male and one female, present to single sex or co-ed groups. Trainings are customized to incorporate local resources and relevant examples.

Population Served

General college student body, single gender or co-ed groups, customizable for student athletes, Greek life and student grounds

Theoretical Basis For Approach

Bringing in the Bystander® “emphasizes a bystander intervention approach and assumes that everyone has a role to play in ending violence against women. In addition to the prevention goal, the program has a research component which seeks to measure the effectiveness of the prevention program with different constituencies.” The program aims to equip participants with skills necessary to identify problematic/dangerous behavior, develop empathy for victims, practice safe and effective methods of intervention, and commit to taking action as a bystander.

Bystander intervention is a model of sexual violence prevention based on evidence that community norms play a significant role in the perpetration of violence, especially on college campuses (Schwartz & DeKeseredy 1997; 2000). Educating members of college communities about the realities of sexual assault and equipping them with tools to identify and prevent rape can help create important cultural shifts away from perpetuating and towards preventing assault and harassment.

Program Effectiveness

Bringing In The Bystander® has been evaluated and found to be effective in shifting attitudes, cultivating senses of bystander responsibility, and increasing likelihood of participants intervening across a wide range of colleges and communities. Research comparing results from a rural, residential, urban and commuter colleges showed significant changes in bystander attitudes after participating in the Bringing in the Bystander program for both men and women (Cares, Banyard, Moynihan, Williams, Potter, & Stapleton, 2014).

These results are echoed in a study of sorority women who also expressed greater willingness and confidence to intervene and sense of responsibility as a bystander after participating in the program (Moynihan, Banyard, Arnold, Eckstein, & Stapleton, 2011). Bringing In The Bystander was again found effective when administered to collegiate athletes and U.S. military personnel (Moynihan, Banyard, Arnold, Eckstein, & Stapleton 2010; Potter & Moynihan 2011). Internal evaluations have shown Bringing In The Bystander  to be effective when presented to both single gender and co-ed groups.

Along with numerous peer-reviewed studies of the effectiveness of Bringing in the Bystander®, Prevention Innovations has been recognized by national media outlets and the White House.


Bringing in the Bystander® is widely implemented and shown to be effective at a variety of institutions. However, Soteria Solutions prefers to keep names of participating institutions private.


Prevention Innovations’ unique focus on research, consultations and technical support are its greatest strength and allows Bringing In The Bystander® to be tailored to the specific needs of a wide range of campuses and organizations. Incorporating local examples, statistics, and resources allows Bringing In the Bystander to be relevant to participants. Bystander intervention and focus on community responsibility are leading concepts in the field of prevention and  aim to empower and activate community members to shift dangerous norms on campus.

A campus able to implement both Bring in the Bystander and Prevention Innovations' other program - Know Your Power® - would be providing an ongoing, comprehensive, and multi-level approach to sexual violence prevention.

Such expansive integration may require significant efforts to generate buy in and support at both administrative and student levels. As with every campus, the most successful implementation will consider the unique experiences of all community members and seek their input before bringing a new program to campus.


There are 3 pricing options. Prices are not published; administrators wishing to find out price information must contact Prevention Innovations.

  • Level 1: downloadable curriculum
  • Level 2: program materials, full day Train the Trainer workshop on campus
  • Level 3: all materials and trainings from Levels 1 and 2, additional half day of training including customized activities and materials

Banyard, V. L., Eckstein, R. P., & Moynihan, M. M. (2010). Sexual violence prevention: The role of stages of change. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25, 111-135. doi:10.1177/0886260508329123

Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M., & Crossman, M. T. (2009). Reducing sexual violence on campus: The role of student leaders as empowered bystanders. Journal of College Student Development, 50, 446-457. doi:10.1353/csd.0.0083

Banyard, V. L. (2008). Measurement and correlates of pro-social bystander behavior: The case of interpersonal violence. Violence and Victims, 23, 83-97. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.23.1.83

Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M., & Plante, E. G. (2007). Sexual violence prevention through bystander education: an experimental evaluation. Journal of Community Psychology, 35, 463-481. doi:10.1002/jcop.20159

Cares, A. C., Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M., Williams, L. M., Potter, S. J., & Stapleton, J. G. (2014). Changing Attitudes about Being a Bystander to Violence: Translating an In-person Education Program to a New Campus. Violence Against Women An International Journal. Online first. doi:10.1177/1077801214564681

Moynihan, M. M. & Banyard, V. L. (2011). Educating bystanders helps prevent sexual violence and reduce backlash. Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly, 3, 293-304.

Moynihan, M. M., Banyard, V. L. , Arnold, J. S. , Eckstein, R. P. and Stapleton, J. G. (2010). Engaging intercollegiate athletes in preventing and intervening in sexual and intimate partner violence, Journal of American College Health, 59, 197-204. doi:10.1080/07448481.2010.502195

Moynihan, M. M., Banyard, V. L., Arnold, J. S., Eckstein, R. P., & Stapleton, J. G. (2011). Sisterhood may be powerful in for 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. doi:10.1177/1077801211409726

Moynihan. M. M., Banyard, V. L., Cares, A. C., Potter, S. J., Williams, L. M. & Stapleton, J. G. (2015). Encouraging Responses in Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention: What Program Effects Remain One Year Later? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30, 110-132. doi:10.1177/0886260514532719

Peterson, K., Sharps, P., Banyard, V., Powers, R. A., Kaukinen, C., Gross, D., Decker, M. R., Baatz, C., Campbell, C. (2016). An Evaluation of Two Dating Violence Prevention Programs on a College Campus. Journal of Interpersonal Violence Online, 1-26. doi:10.1177/0886260516636069