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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Kentucky: How Bystander Intervention Reduces Violence Perpetration

Bystander approaches to violence prevention, designed to change the social norms of violence acceptance and increase bystander actions, are now widely implemented in a variety of settings – for example, bystander intervention training is now required to be incorporated in sexual violence prevention programming at all institutions of higher learning receiving Title IX funding. Evidence exists that bystander approaches can reduce sexual violence over time, but until now researchers had yet to examine the role of violence acceptance and bystander actions as potential mediators in reducing violence perpetration. A new publication from researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health addresses this gap.

Dr. Heather M. Bush, professor and chair of biostatistics and Kate Spade & Company Endowed Professor in the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women (CRVAW) is the first and corresponding author of “Do Violence Acceptance and Bystander Actions Explain the Effects of Green Dot on Reducing Violence Perpetration in High Schools?“, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence . Co-authors are Dr. Ann L. Coker, professor of epidemiology at UKCPH and Verizon Wireless Endowed Chair in the UK CRVAW ,along with Dr. Sarah DeGue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Bonnie S. Fisher of the University of Cincinnati, and Ms. Emily R. Clear and Ms. Candace J. Brancato of UKCPH.

The authors’ findings – from a trial implemented in high school student populations using a rigorous, randomized design – indicate that bystander training was effective in reducing sexual violence perpetration by also reducing violence acceptance and increasing bystander actions.

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