Bystander Training as Leadership Training: Notes on the Origins, Philosophy, and Pedagogy of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Model

Violence Against Women. 2018 Dec;24(15):1755-1776. doi: 10.1177/1077801217753322. Epub 2018 Mar 15.


This article outlines the origins, philosophy, and pedagogy of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which has played a significant role in the gender violence prevention field since its inception in 1993. MVP was one of the first large-scale programs to target men for prevention efforts, as well as the first to operate systematically in sports culture and the U.S. military. MVP also introduced the "bystander" approach to the field. MVP employs a social justice, gender-focused approach to prevention. Key features of this approach are described and contrasted with individualistic, events-based strategies that have proliferated on college campuses and elsewhere in recent years.

Keywords: MVP; bystander; engaging men; gender inclusive; gender transformative; gender violence; leadership; pedagogy; prevention; rape culture; social norms.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes / psychology
  • Athletes / statistics & numerical data
  • Bystander Effect*
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Mentors / psychology*
  • Military Personnel / psychology
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Rape / prevention & control
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Teaching / standards*
  • Violence / prevention & control*