Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program: A Bystander Approach to Gender Violence Prevention

Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
No Private Matter! Ending Abuse in Intimate & Family Relations competition.

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program is a gender violence prevention and education program of Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. MVP was designed on the premise that male and female student leaders can play a unique and central role in solving problems in schools that have traditionally been considered “women’s issues”: rape, battering, and sexual harassment.

About You

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Location

Project Street Address

Project City

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Project Postal/Zip Code

Project Country

n/a

Your idea

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Focus of activity

Education

Year the initiative began

1993

Position your initiative on the mosaic of solutions

Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Culture Of Acceptance

Which of the insights is the primary focus of your work?

Personalize Responsibility

If you believe some other barrier or insight should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

Name Your Project

Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program: A Bystander Approach to Gender Violence Prevention

Describe Your Idea

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program is a gender violence prevention and education program of Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. MVP was designed on the premise that male and female student leaders can play a unique and central role in solving problems in schools that have traditionally been considered “women’s issues”: rape, battering, and sexual harassment.

Innovation

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Description of Initiative

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program is a gender violence prevention and education program of Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. MVP was designed on the premise that male and female student leaders can play a unique and central role in solving problems in schools that have traditionally been considered “women’s issues”: rape, battering, and sexual harassment.

Innovation

Utilizing a unique bystander approach to prevention, MVP views male and female students not as potential perpetrators or victims, but as bystanders who can be empowered to confront abusive peers.

Delivery Model

The MVP Program, composed of male and female former professional and college student-athletes, conducts gender violence prevention trainings for a wide variety of high school and college populations. Typically, the racially, diverse MVP staff provides both mixed-gender and single gender sessions. Both interactive sessions consist of awereness-raising activities and scenarios that utilize the program's key teaching tool, the MVP Playbook

Key Operational Partnerships

Partnerships are central to the MVP program. High schools are the most important partnerships, as MVP trains students during in school time. Also, community organizations that focus on young people are important as well, for they provide us with opportunities to train in after-school settings.

Impact

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Financial Model

MVP is largely run on grants. Grants provide MVP with the ability to offer trainings free of cost to public schools and non-profit after school programs. Part of MVP's scope of service is to work with young people who are receiving aid from the department of social services.

What percentage, if any, of the total operating costs does earned income (from products, services, or other fees) represent?

5%

How is the initiative financed? Is it financially self-sustainable or profitable? How much do beneficiaries contribute?

MVP is primarily financed through grants and is self-sustainable. MVP receives less then 1% of its finances through beneficiaries or individual giving.

Effectiveness

MVP has been proven to be effective through a multi-year, independent evaluation. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, MVP has been shown to produce significant positive change in students' knowledge and behaviors relating to gender violence and prevention. To view the evaluation, please go to http://www.sportinsociety.org/vpd/mvp.php .

How many people have benefited from your program over the last year? Which element of the program proved itself most effective?

Over three hundred high school students received MVP training last year. However, over one thousand students received a modified presentation of MVP through its train the trainer(MVP TTT) program. MVP TTT program works with high school students, who have been trained in MVP, to deliver classroom presentations about men's violence against women to middle school students and their high school peers.

Scaling up Strategy

The first priority for MVP over the next three years is to increase the amount of schools that MVP works with in the New England Area. Currently, MVP has a waiting list of over 20 schools that want training. However, MVP does not have the financial resources to meet these needs. The challenge for MVP will be to find the resources so that it can provide free trainings for schools.

Stage of the Initiative

1

Origin of the Initiative

Jackson Katz created the MVP program. Katz worked at a battered women's shelter and realized that only women were working on this issue. Katz felt like this was odd, because abusive men were the reason for women being at the shelter and that men needed to be apart of the solution to ending violence against women. Wanting to use their status as former football players, Katz worked with Byron Hurt to create a program that would use athletes to speak out and work toward ending men's violence against women. MVP is unique, because it does not look at men as potential perpetrators of violence or women as potential survivors of violence, but both males and females as empowered bystanders who can intervene in abusive situations.

This Entry is about (Issues)

Sustainability

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How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate?

MVP and its parent organization, Center for the Study of Sport in Society, are affiliated with Northeastern University. As a result of this relationship, Northeastern's Office of Development and Public Affairs thought this competition would be a great way to highlight the great work that MVP is doin

Main Obstacles to Scaling Up

The financial implication of scaling up has been a difficult obstacle. With an ever-growing waiting list, MVP cannot meet the needs of its partners without hiring and training new staff, which costs money. Partnerships are another obstacle to MVP's growth. Though MVP is able to partner with schools and after school programs, it has not been able to find a for profit stake holder that would be willing to help sustain the program on a long term basis and make it less reliant on grants.

Main Financial Challenges

MVP must expand its financial base in order to grow. The main financial challenges of MVP is to become less reliant of yearly renewable grants and find individuals or for profit companies, which have a vested interest in ending men's violence against women and are willing to sponsor a successful program that works to solve this important issue.

Main Partnership Challenges

The main partnership challenge of MVP is being able to meet the demand for the training. MVP has a extremely long waiting list, but does not have the staff to train all the schools and after-school organizations that want to empower young people to end men's violence against women.