Bringing in the Bystander®

Bringing in the Bystander® is an evidence-based bystander intervention program. Rather than focusing strictly on the roles of perpetrator and victim, the highly interactive Bringing in 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.

Soteria Solutions
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Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
Bringing in the Bystander®
Supported By Evidence
  • In-person Workshop
  • Online Course
  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate Students
Bystander Intervention
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

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.


Recently updated and refreshed, BITB is now approximately 100 minutes. Each slide follows a red or green light system, indicating which slides must be included and which can be skipped or amended while still maintaining fidelity to the research and intent of the curriculum.


The program is intended to be co-facilitated. Other materials needed include a laptop with PowerPoint, screen, large notepad and markers. The materials need to be customized to incorporate local resources and relevant statistics and scenarios.

Soteria Solutions has recently developed a Free Guide for current license holders on delivery of both BITB High School as well as BITB College in the COVID-19 reality. They have amended BITB licenses to allow for synchronous (virtual livestream) implementation. They have also created an easy-to-customize social media campaign that focuses on a prosocial bystander approach to preventing sexual and relationship violence. Both the College and High School version toolkits come with 250+ images to choose from for use across many different social media platforms! Add your own logo and brand with your colors.

Population Served

The program was created and evaluated for student audiences. We do not recommend BITB College for employees or faculty, as it can create challenging power dynamics in the space. We do encourage faculty and staff to attend a training to give them a sense of what will be provided to students and for when they may become a facilitator. Contact Soteria Solutions for more information on Workplace options.

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 teach participants the 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 rural, residential, urban and commuter colleges showed significant changes in bystander attitudes after participating in the Bringing in the Bystander program (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.

The Program was developed, administered and evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of New Hampshire within the Prevention Innovations Research Center. Along with numerous peer-reviewed studies of the effectiveness of Bringing in the Bystander®, the Prevention Innovations Research Center has been recognized by national media outlets and the White House.

Please also visit our research page for the most up-to-date information.


More than 500 colleges, universities, and higher education partners use Soteria Solutions' Bringing in the Bystander® College Prevention Program and Know Your Power® Social Media Marketing Campaign. Visit their website for recent testimonials from participating organizations such as Caldwell University; Connecticut State Colleges & Universities; University of Manitoba; Carthage College; University of Bath and more.


Soteria Solutions’ 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.

Know Your Power® is a social marketing campaign; using static images to teach bystander intervention. Adding this to your BITB trainings 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.


Information on obtaining the different curriculum package levels as well as pricing information can be found on their website’s shop or email For information on attending an upcoming Facilitator Train-the-Trainer Workshop please visit their events page.

  • Banyard, Victoria, Potter, Sharyn J, Cares, Alison C., Williams, Linda M. (2018) Multiple Sexual Violence Prevention Tools: Doses and Boosters. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research. doi:1108/JACPR-05-2017-0287
  • 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: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: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: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: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:1177/1077801214564681
  • Edwards, Katie M.; Rodenhizer-Stampfli, Kara Ann; Eckstein, Robert P. (2017) School Personnel’s Bystander Action in Situation of Dating Violence, Sexual Violence, and Sexual Harassment among High School Teens: A Qualitative Analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1177/0886260517698821
  • Edwards, K.M., Rodenhizer-Stämpfli, K.A. & Eckstein, R.P. Bystander Action in Situations of Dating and Sexual Aggression: A Mixed Methodological Study of High School Youth. J Youth Adolescence 44, 2321–2336 (2015). doi:
  • 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: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:1177/1077801211409726
  • 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
  • Mujal GN, Taylor ME, Fry JL, Gochez-Kerr TH, Weaver NL. (2019) Trauma Violence Abuse: A Systematic Review of Bystander Interventions for the Prevention of Sexual Assault. doi: 10.1177/152483801984958
  • 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:1177/0886260516636069