Multi-College Bystander Intervention Evaluation for Violence Prevention

Ann L. Coker, Heather M. Bush, Bonnie S. Fisher, Suzanne C. Swan, Corrine M. Williams, Emily R. Clear, Sarah Degue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Introduction The 2013 Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act requires U.S. colleges to provide bystander-based training to reduce sexual violence, but little is known about the efficacy of such programs for preventing violent behavior. This study provides the first multiyear evaluation of a bystander intervention's campus-level impact on reducing interpersonal violence victimization and perpetration behavior on college campuses. Methods First-year students attending three similarly sized public university campuses were randomly selected and invited to complete online surveys in the spring terms of 2010-2013. On one campus, the Green Dot bystander intervention was implemented in 2008 (Intervention, n=2,979) and two comparison campuses had no bystander programming at baseline (Comparison, n=4,132). Data analyses conducted in 2014-2015 compared violence rates by condition over the four survey periods. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate violence risk on Intervention relative to Comparison campuses, adjusting for demographic factors and time (2010-2013). Results Interpersonal violence victimization rates (measured in the past academic year) were 17% lower among students attending the Intervention (46.4%) relative to Comparison (55.7%) campuses (adjusted rate ratio=0.83; 95% CI=0.79, 0.88); a similar pattern held for interpersonal violence perpetration (25.5% in Intervention; 32.2% in Comparison; adjusted rate ratio=0.79; 95% CI=0.71, 0.86). Violence rates were lower on Intervention versus Comparison campuses for unwanted sexual victimization, sexual harassment, stalking, and psychological dating violence victimization and perpetration (p<0.01). Conclusions Green Dot may be an efficacious intervention to reduce violence at the community level and meet Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act bystander training requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research was supported by the University of Kentucky and NIH ( 5R21HD069897 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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