Stand Up and Speak Up: Effectiveness of Web-Based Bystander Intervention on a College Campus
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The goal of bystander intervention is to provide college students with the necessary means to recognize an assaultive situation and gain the confidence to step in. The current study examined the effectiveness of a web-based bystander intervention by measuring 28 participants’ outcomes (Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, Bystander Efficacy Scale, and a confidence in bystander intervention scale) before and after the intervention. The results were compared to a control group receiving statements about sexual assault and to existing data collected from the bystander workshop Stand Up Titans!, conducted through the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Women’s Center during the 2014–2015 academic year. Contrary to expectations, there was no difference in Rape Myth Acceptance scores or Bystander Efficacy scores between the experimental (web-based video) and control (reading passages) groups. Watching the web-based intervention did increase participants’ confidence in intervening compared to the control group, however. As expected, there was a difference in Rape Myth Acceptance (RMA) scores between the web-based intervention group and the Stand Up Titans! workshop, with participants in the workshop reporting a lower Rape Myth Acceptance (i.e., lower endorsement of harmful rape myths). The web-based intervention group and the workshop both had high rates of confidence in intervening. Together, these findings suggest that web-based interventions may be effective at improving bystander confidence but may not reduce rape myths to a greater extent than merely reading statistics about sexual assault. Findings from this study have implications for the use of web-based bystander interventions on college campuses.