Preliminary Evaluation of The Intervention Initiative, a Bystander Intervention Program to Prevent Violence Against Women in Universities
Violence and Victims
Springer Publishing Company
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Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by Springer Publishing Company. No embargo required on publication
Violence against women students is increasingly recognized as a significant public health and human rights issue. The Intervention Initiative is a facilitated bystander intervention educational program commissioned by Public Health England for use by all English universities to prevent violence, abuse and coercion. The success of the program with first-year Law students at a large university in the South West of England was evaluated through course evaluation feedback and in a questionnaire study. Student experience was exceptionally good across all measures. In paired sample t-tests, prosocial bystander behavior did not increase significantly from pretest to posttest immediately after taking part in the program. Rape myth acceptance, domestic abuse myth acceptance and denial decreased significantly (p < .001; d > .599). Bystander efficacy, readiness to help and responsibility increased significantly (p < .001, d = .408 - .703) and intent to help increased significantly (p = .007, d = .248). Exposure to a concurrent social marketing campaign on campus had a significant strengthening effect on improvement of attitudes to rape myths (p = .010) but not any other outcome measures. No significant backlash was identified.
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