Becoming an effective bystander in gender-based violence

Anke Kossurok

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Aim of workshop: To consider what an effective pro-active bystander is in relation to domestic abuse and wider forms of gender-based violence and to offer techniques and skills to enable safe intervention.

Workshop description: This workshop explains the role of bystanders in maintaining, exacerbating or reducing domestic abuse and wider forms of gender-based violence. The session gives an example of an effective bystander training, the Intervention Initiative, that is being implemented at various UK universities. The team have adapted this training and developed a ‘Training for Trainers’ component to ensure sustainability in the model. The team are currently delivering this in their own institution and HEs across Scotland. The Intervention Initiative equips participants to identify gender-based violence, including domestic abuse experienced by colleagues/peers, and to intervene safely and provide basic victim support. It applies social norms theory in a community setting. Participants in the workshop are invited to take part in activities embedded in the bystander training and to consider the adaptation of this training for other workplace or social settings and in relation to domestic abuse, gender-based violence and other hate crimes such as homophobia or disablism.

Method(s) of participant involvement:
Participants will be involved in the workshop through:
• Sharing their own experiences of being a bystander
• Taking part in an empathy exercise, video discussions, and role plays
• Sharing ideas for the adaptation of the Intervention Initiative to other settings and discussing similar initiatives

Anticipated key learning: Participants gain an understanding of the role of the bystander and available bystander training, such as the Intervention Initiative, as well as of techniques in intervening effectively, and promoting bystander interventions in other community settings in order to address domestic abuse and gender-based violence.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2019
EventEuropean Conference on Domestic Violence - Oslo Congress Centre, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 1 Sept 20194 Sept 2019


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Domestic Violence
Abbreviated titleECDV
Internet address


  • gender based violence
  • gender violence


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