The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) presents this three-part series on bystander intervention in support of and focus on this approach to sexual violence prevention. Read about more resources on engaging bystanders in sexual violence prevention.
For those of us who have been advocating a bystander-focused approach to the prevention of sexual violence, the scandal rocking State College, Pennsylvania, might be the mother of all teachable moments. If what is being alleged is true, then all the necessary elements are present:
•Incidents of sexual abuse witnessed by people in a position to intervene who did not;
•Pressures on people (men) in various peer cultures to remain silent
•The failure of institutional leaders to act, resulting in disastrous consequences; and
•All of this taking place in one of the bastions of male power and privilege – the Penn State University football program, presided over for 46 years by one of the iconic patriarchs in American sports culture.