We chose Bringing in the Bystander® as our prevention intervention because it is theoretically sound, proven to be effective for both women and men, and codified for consistent delivery.
Bystander-type interventions are among the most effective forms of campus sexual assault prevention education (Basile et al., 2016; Flood, 2011; Lonsway et al., 2009) and were specifically endorsed by the Obama Task Force Report. BITB® is one of the best known and most effective.
Created by researcher-activists at Prevention Innovations, University of New Hampshire, both versions of their BITB® (90 minutes and 4 ½ hours) are designed to help students understand the importance of speaking out against social norms that support sexual assault and coercion, recognize and safely interrupt situations that could lead to sexual assault, and be an effective and supportive ally to rape survivors (Banyard, Eckstein, Plante, & Moynihan, 2007; Banyard, Plante, & Moynihan, 2004; Moynihan et al., 2014).
With the agreement of our UNH partners, we have created a 3-hour version of BITB® that uses Canadian data and examples, and we deliver our workshops using established best-practices. Workshops are:
- Led by well-trained students-peers, which enhances effectiveness.
- Whenever possible, workshops are led by mixed-gender pairs, which emphasizes the importance of men and women working together to reduce the incidence of sexual assault.
- Offered to men and women separately, which encourages full and frank discussion of sensitive issues. Trans students are invited to choose the workshop where they would feel more comfortable.
Our research has determined that the UWindsor version of BITB® coupled with our course-based education and training of workshop leaders is effective. See Bystander Initiative Effectiveness.