Experimental Evaluation of a Bystander Prevention Program for Sexual Assault and Dating Violence

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Abstract

Objective:

Emerging evidence suggests that bystander prevention programs are promising interventions for decreasing sexual violence (SV) and dating violence (DV) on college campuses, yet there have been no experimental evaluations to date comparing such programs with other programs. The objective of the current study was to test whether a bystander program was better than a traditional psychoeducation violence prevention program.

Method:

We present an exploratory experimental evaluation of a bystander prevention program compared with a traditional psychoeducation program.

Results:

Both programs improved rape myth acceptance and knowledge scores. There was also a trend suggesting the bystander group improved in bystander efficacy over time, with a slight decrease in bystander efficacy for the traditional psychoeducation group.

Conclusions:

Current findings suggest that the modified bystander program may be an effective prevention program; however, it is unclear whether it is superior to other approaches.

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