PIONEERS OF THE BYSTANDER APPROACHOVER 20 YEARS OF LEADERSHIP
Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) is one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence, sexual harassment, and bullying prevention programs in the world. MVP has inspired countless women, men, girls and boys to challenge and change social, cultural and institutional norms that support abusive behavior.
In 1993, Dr. Jackson Katz and his colleagues at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society developed MVP as a sports culture initiative. The program quickly expanded to engage students and professionals in college, high school, the military, and a variety of organizations in the public and private sectors.
A MONUMENTAL CULTURAL SHIFT: THE BYSTANDER APPROACH
Over twenty years ago, MVP introduced the bystander approach (sometimes referred to as “bystander intervention”) to the sexual assault and relationship abuse prevention fields. Since the inception of this transformative concept, numerous educational institutions, sports leagues, businesses and other organizations have adopted MVP’swidely popular strategies. Bystander training is now at the center of the expanding gender violence prevention movement.
In Simple Terms
Bystander training helps people move beyond a fixation on the perpetrator-victim dynamic. The training fosters a peer culture climate that motivates everyone to get involved in supporting victims and challenging abusive behaviors.
A LONG LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- The multiracial, mixed-gender MVP Model has been widely influential in the development and operation of a range of gender violence prevention initiatives in high schools, colleges, the military, community organizations, and sexual and domestic violence programs.
- MVP was the first large-scale initiative in the world to leverage the influence and social power of sports culture in the struggle against all forms of gender violence.
- MVP was the first system-wide gender violence prevention program in the U.S. Armed Services (in the Marine Corps in 1997).
- MVP personnel have trained hundreds of thousands of male and female student-athletes, coaches, and administrators at hundreds of NCAA Division 1, 2, and 3 college athletic programs.
- MVP has conducted trainings with dozens of professional teams in the NFL, CFL, NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball, Australian Football League, NASCAR, and many other sports organizations.
- Professional MVP trainers have trained tens of thousands of educators, coaches, military personnel, health care practitioners, and law enforcement professionals.
- MVP trainings feature some of the best and most cutting-edge media literacy tools and exercises in gender violence prevention education.
- In 2012, MVP hosted the first-ever international conference on the bystander approach in Boston, Massachusetts, entitled “Bystander Intervention: From Its Roots to the Road Ahead.”
Changing abusive behaviors on a broader societal level requires that we stop regarding abuse solely as a problem between abusers and victims.
Instead, all of us—i.e., bystanders—must stand up, speak out, and help change the attitudes and beliefs that contribute to harassment and violence.
And responsibility-to change our culture
The short-term goal is to prevent incidents from occurring. The long-term goal is to change the social norms that often underlie acts of harassment, abuse, or violence.
To learn more about the MVP Model or schedule a training session, please contact us.