Avon Foundation for Women grant to help develop bystander intervention training

Florida State University will use a $5,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to develop a bystander intervention training program that has the potential to educate thousands of students about realistic, safe and authentic ways to help prevent sexual violence on campus.

The grant — one of 30 Avon campus grants awarded this year to activate bystanders to reduce sexual assault, dating abuse and stalking — will enable Annelise Mennicke, a researcher with the Florida Center for Prevention Research, and Kori Pruett, the sexual violence prevention coordinator with University Health Services, to attend a weeklong bystander intervention training program that will serve as the basis for Florida State’s upcoming training program.

Bystander intervention is a major component of Florida State’s kNOw MORE awareness campaign aimed at preventing sexual violence on campus.

“Beginning in the spring of 2015, we have a target of hosting at minimum four bystander intervention trainings for the Florida State community in a room with a capacity of 250. That’s a conservative estimate for our first semester. In subsequent semesters, the numbers of students who participate in this training can only expand,” said Mennicke, who is also an FSU College of Social Work doctoral candidate focusing on domestic and sexual violence, and a co-chair of the Curriculum Development Committee, part of the university’s Presidential Task Force on Sexual Violence Prevention.

Once Florida State’s bystander intervention training is up and running, it will serve the entire campus community — men and women, undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty and staff members.

This fall, Mennicke and Pruett will attend professional training programs offered by Green Dot, which help organizations implement strategies of violence prevention that consistently and measurably reduce power-based violence, with a heavy emphasis on bystander intervention.

The application for the Avon Foundation for Women grant was a joint effort of the Florida Center for Prevention Research, the university’s Victim Advocate Program and the university Health and Wellness Center’s Office of Health Promotion, which is supported by the Women’s Student Union, the Office of Greek Life and Florida State Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Coburn.

Mennicke and Pruett applied for the grant with Richard Howell, a senior research associate with the Florida Center for Prevention Research.

FSU’s Women Student Union partnered with the College of Motion Picture Arts to create the film-style PSA “kNOw More: What Would You Do?” View here.