Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2021

Department 1

Public Policy


Bystander intervention education programs have become increasingly popular as a tool for the primary prevention of sexual violence at institutions of higher education (IHEs). Emerging research surrounding bystander intervention on college campuses reveals promising results, yet there is limited extant research exploring how students perceive bystander intervention as a tool to protect themselves and their peers. Students over the age of 18 at a small, private, liberal arts IHE in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States with approximately 2,600 students were surveyed to assess knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to bystander intervention. Students demonstrated a willingness to intervene and a sense of community and responsibility that proves promising for bystander intervention. Students also demonstrated a significant disparity in the level of knowledge, awareness, and behavior when it came to actual intervention. These mixed results reflect the variety of conclusions drawn in prior research regarding program effectiveness and changing actions of students in situations of potential sexual misconduct and contribute to a growing body of research surrounding primary prevention of sexual misconduct at IHEs.


Written for PP 401: Public Policy Capstone