Bystander Intervention for Middle and High School and College Students


The First Responder Training is a one day training that teaches community members about the dynamics of sexual violence as a tool of oppression, how to be an active bystander in oppressive situations, sex offender dynamics, and the physiology of trauma It also addresses the specifics of managing a disclosure from a victim of sexual assault. This program is helpful for treatment providers, educators, and community members who work with the public.

"This presentation raised my awareness on the topic and how much power I have to help people."

- 14 year old female




Programs Offered

Each workshop begins with a brief culture creation discussion that emphasizes respect for each other, respect for self-care, and a confidentiality agreement.  All students are given full permission to determine their own level of participation throughout the workshop.  Next, statistics on sexual violence, relevant to adolescents, are shared through a True/False activity.  The goal is to use state and national statistics to challenge many myths of sexual violence, create a space for open conversation about the facts of sexual violence and establish a common understanding among peers. Specific statistics include state percentage of victims under the age of 18, definitions of active consent, social dynamics that tolerate violence and abuse, and potential effects of sexual violence on survivors. 


Students are led through a brief lesson with statistics that demonstrate how sexual violence is used as a tool of multiple oppression's. Following the True/False activity, the workshop moves into discussing what it means to be a bystander who intervenes. Students are asked to participate in visualizing a situation and evaluating the message it sends to victims, perpetrators, and other bystanders when we don’t intervene. This flows into a facilitated dialogue with single gendered groups, using scripted scenarios to discuss options of intervening. These scenarios provide an opportunity for students to think through what they may do and in turn, are more likely to follow through with their idea if they encounter a similar situation. 


The Bystander Intervention Program is designed for classroom workshops.  We are able to adapt the presentation time from 45 minutes to 2 hours and can be single or multi-day workshops, depending on teachers’ availability.  

"It showed me that being a bystander means doing something."

- 14 year old male

SASO evaluates this program through anonymous Pre/Post Tests given at each workshop to each student.  Below are some statistics gathered from our program evaluation as well as some comments from students who have participated in a Bystander Intervention Program workshop. Strong partnerships with teachers and school staff are also greatly valued. 


Stats for 2009:


•80% of students were able to name a “bystander technique” that did not involve violence.


•94% of students said they want to influence their peers to be less accepting of oppression and sexual violence.


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