Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention -- Online Course

Hello readers,

Here is an announcement from Sally Thigpen of the CDC, who wanted to share this resource:


This free course was developed by ATSA's very own Joan Tabachnick!

Bystander work is gaining momentum as a primary prevention strategy in the field of sexual violence prevention. Please take a look and also share this information with those in your community engaged in the work of prevention. This is an opportunity to strengthen community connections through dissemination of prevention information.

Please take note of this new resource from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), which corresponds to bystander approaches to SV prevention highlighted within the MA Sexual Violence Prevention Plan.

The newly released Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention Online Course provides 1-2 hour, interactive tutorial on research, concepts, tools, and methods on effective bystander intervention.

The tutorial, produced by The New England Adolescent Research Institute Inc. (NEARI) and sponsored by NSVRC, aims to educate and motivate individuals, groups, and communities to take action to prevent sexual violence.

Joan Tabachnick, our bystander blogger, developed the online tutorial, basing it on an NSVRC publication released in 2008.

You can view more information about this course at:


Please contact the NEARI Training Center info@nearipress.org with any technical questions regarding the course.


Sally Thigpen, MPA
Contractor - Business Computer Applications
Public Health Analyst Research, Synthesis, and Applications Team


  1. Robin,

    One problem I have with this work is that (in the publication anyway) it continues to portray/focus almost exclusively the dynamic of men as perpetrators and women as victims of sexual violence.

    As a bystander I want to speak up about this and the harm that doing this causes some people who have been victims of female perpetrated sexual violence.

  2. Good point. Let's see if we can get a comment from Joan.


  3. Hi Rhia,

    As Robin said, that is a great point. As the author, I recognize that this short booklet does not begin to address the real complexity of this issue.

    If it is helpful, let me give some background.

    When I am asked to write a short publication like this, I find I have to pick and choose the key points I want to make and I need to start where people are (basic organizing tool as well!) So in this publication, I was trying to expand people's point of view in a number of directions: First, I wanted to convey the idea that people who abuse or are at risk to abuse are not montsters. They are people we know AND because of that, we need to begin to have conversations with them when we have any concerns for their behaviors. Since most of the people who sexually abuse are men, I felt that I had to start there to move them to the next step -- just TALK with them about your concerns or report them if you have suspicions -- do something.

    And the second point I had hoped to get across is that a signficant number of people who abuse are children and adolescents. THe NSVRC tends to work with adult rape issues so this was pushing them to look at child sexual abuse as well. My point was again, this is not the scary monster, but kids who we all are responsible for.

    In longer publications I definitely address this and my hope, as the public's understanding of the issue grows, we can continue to push for a more complex understanding and response to this issue.

    Thanks so much for your comment and great point.