RealConsent is an online training program for sexual assault prevention and alcohol education that is aimed at educating college-aged students. The program has been clinically validated through two major trials by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Health (NIH).

Laura Salazar
Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
Supported By Evidence
  • Online Course
  • Undergraduate students
This program is for male-identified and female-identified students.
Learning Objectives
  • increase self-reported prosocial intervening behaviors  
  • decrease incidence of sexual violence perpetration among participants
  • increase knowledge of and skills for: safely intervening in situations when sexual violence may occur; correcting misperceptions in normative beliefs; and, affecting negative attitudes toward date rape
  • increase knowledge of: the elements constituting effective consent for sex; affecting gender roles; enhancing communication skills; and, increasing empathy for victims of sexual assault

The modules communicate key themes using: definitions, scenarios, survivor stories portrayed by actors, expert testimony, advice from peers, and interactive quizzes and games. There are also scenarios that ask the student to decide whether informed consent is possible, after providing guidelines for what constitutes consent. Throughout the program, scripted scenes with a group of friends help address key topics including: knowledge of informed consent, communication skills regarding sex, the role of alcohol and socialization in sexual violence, empathy for rape victims, and bystander education.


Male: Six 30 minute modules
Female: Four 50 minute modules

Population Served

Undergraduate students

Theoretical Basis For Approach

The content for RealConsent was based on several complementary theoretical frameworks: social cognitive theory, social norms theory, and the bystander educational model.

Program Effectiveness

One evaluation study of the RealConsent was published in a peer-reviewed journal, demonstrating significant improvement on both primary outcome measures (prosocial bystander behavior and sexual perpetration). The evaluation also measured 12 mediating outcomes. The study demonstrated significant effects on all but one mediator (self-efficacy).  


RealConsent is still in its beta-testing phase and is not in use by any schools.


The original program has recently been revised. Researchers are beta-testing the revised version. To find out how to participate in beta-testing, contact Behavior Science Technologies LLC at The program will be commercially available soon.


Salazar, L.F., Vivolo-Kantor, A.V., Hardin, J. & Berkowitz, A. A. (2014). Web-based Sexual Violence Bystander Intervention for Male College Students: Randomized Control Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16 (9): 1-16. doi:10.2196/jmir.3426

Laura F. Salazar, Alana Vivolo-Kantor & Kira McGroarty-Koon (2017)
Formative Research With College Men to Inform Content and Messages for a Web-Based Sexual Violence Prevention program, Health Communication, 32:9, 1133-1141, DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1214219

Laura F. Salazar, PhD, Alana Vivolo-Kantor, PhD and Anne Marie Schipani-McLaughlin, PhD (2019) Theoretical Mediators of RealConsent: A Web-Based Sexual Violence Prevention and Bystander Education Program. Health Education & Behavior, Vol. 46 (1) 79-88 DOI: 10.1177/1090198118779126