Gender-based violence, which includes sexual and intimate partner violence against women, is prevalent worldwide, prompting calls for primary prevention programs which engage men and boys in changing social norms that condone violence against women. Bystander intervention efforts which encourage males to say something to stop peers from enacting disrespectful and abusive behaviors toward females are a promising strategy for promoting non-violent, gender-equitable attitudes and behaviors. An evaluation of "Parivartan"--a U.S. program called "Coaching Boys Into Men" adapted for urban India cricket teams--was conducted in Mumbai, India. Baseline and 12 month follow-up surveys were administered to 309 male cricket athletes aged 10 to 16 years in 46 urban middle schools in Mumbai, India (27 intervention, 19 control). Athletes whose coaches were trained in the program demonstrated greater improvements in gender-equitable attitudes compared to athletes whose coaches provided standard coaching only. Marginally significant improvements were seen in reduction of negative bystander behavior. Violence prevention programs which utilize coaches as positive messengers for respect and non-violence may be a useful addition to global prevention efforts to reduce violence against women.
Keywords: athletes and coaches; bystander interventions; gender-based violence; prevention program.