This training can be delivered both in-person and remote (online) formats. Details on how to adapt the training for different formats can be found in the facilitator notes for the activities. In most instances, delivering this training in person is preferable. In-person delivery usually provides a greater opportunity for connection and relationship building between facilitator and learners, greater engagement between all learners, and more opportunities for facilitators to check for comprehension. Advantages for remote delivery include convenience, ability to reach students off- campus or prior to arriving on campus and the ability to record trainings. While this training is designed to be delivered synchronously, it can be adapted by individual institutions to be asynchronous.

An ideal institutional practice would see all students, faculty, administration (including leadership) and staff complete this workshop early in the school year, perhaps within a suite of trainings (i.e., other training on preventing and responding to sexual violence). Regular updates of sexual violence trainings (e.g., yearly) is also a “wise practice.”

Throughout the training, there are opportunities to adapt the training for different audiences by using different examples and scenarios. There are also brief activity slides throughout the presentation to assess learners’ knowledge and comfort level with the materials. This can help you decide which activities to spend more time on and when there might be opportunities to deepen the discussion and practice more advanced skills.

There are multiple opportunities to connect content found in this workshop to other training on sexual violence. For example, conversations about rape culture and myths about sexual violence in training on responding to disclosures can be linked to bystander intervention skills and how learners would respond to these situations. This training can also be included as part of the curriculum for various programs, a professional development opportunity for faculty and staff, or an extra-curricular credit offering.

Timing for 90-Minute Session

Opening (5 minutes)

  • Territory acknowledgement
  • Self-care
  • Community agreement
  • Learning outcomes

Building a “Good” community (5 minutes)

  • Video: Maya’xala and Namwayut
  • Group Brainstorm: Good Community

Activity: Self assessment (2 minutes)

Defining sexual violence

  • Brainstorm (5 minutes)
  • Additional definition sharing (3 minutes)

Roots of violence

  • Brainstorm: Why does it happen (5 minutes)
  • Continuum of violence (5 minutes)
  • Activity: Noticing rape culture (5 minutes)
  • Who we are matters (5 minutes)
  • Levels of intervention (5 minutes)

Break (5 minutes)

Activity: Self-assessment (2 minutes)

Understanding a bystander

  • Activity: recalling personal experience (5 minutes)
  • Discussion: defining “active bystander” (3 minutes)
  • Info and brainstorm: Barriers to intervening (5 minutes)

Strategies to intervene

  • Explaining 4 D’s (5 minutes)
  • Activity: Scenarios – Applying the 4D’s (5 minutes group work, 10 minute debrief)

Closing: takeaways & support options (5 minutes)


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Active Bystander Intervention: Training and Facilitation Guide Copyright © 2021 by Sexual Violence Training Development Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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