Estimates suggest that between 10% and 25% of adolescents have experienced some form of physical violence within a dating relationship, and one in four college-age women experiences attempted or completed sexual violence on campus. Bystander programs focus on equipping young adults with the skills to safely intervene when they witness behaviors that can result in dating abuse. This approach is promoted for its capacity both to transform community norms that contribute to dating abuse and to foster more positive social interactions among youth, however, there has been limited review of the literature on the outcomes of bystander programs. Therefore, this article provides an in-depth systematic literature review, which describes the content and program components of bystander programs and summarizes what is currently known about the impact of bystander interventions on participants’ behaviors and attitudes. Results indicate that bystander programs are promising from the standpoint of increasing young adults’ willingness to intervene and confidence in their ability to intervene when they witness dating or sexual violence, however, the utilization of actual bystander behaviors was less straightforward. Implications for prevention practice and for future research are presented.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/erin-casey/11/