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Joan Chrisler

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Incidents of rape and sexual assault in the US have not significantly decreased in the past several decades, and rates of assault on college campuses are higher than national statistics. Research suggests that bystander intervention programs are a popular and effective means of reducing sexual assault. The current study was designed to expand upon the literature by evaluating changes in attitudes and behaviors toward bystander intervention and sexual assault before and after undergoing Green Dot bystander intervention training. Participants completed a pre-test to measure bystander attitudes and behaviors, bystander efficacy, and rape myth acceptance before taking part in a 6-hour bystander intervention training. Three weeks after the training, participants filled out a post-test that consisted of the same measures. Analyses revealed that participants had significantly increased positive attitudes toward bystander intervention, increased self-efficacy to intervene, and decreased rape myth acceptance. There was no significant difference in performed bystander behaviors as a result of the training. Implications for bystander intervention programs and future research are discussed.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.