Powell, A. 2014. “Shifting Upstream: Bystander Action Against Sexism and Discrimination Against Women.”

Powell, Anastasia. 2014. “Shifting Upstream: Bystander Action Against Sexism and Discrimination Against Women.” In Preventing Sexual Violence: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Overcoming a Rape Culture, edited by Nicola Henry and Anastasia Powell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pp. 189-207.

Does focus on bystander programs imply an innocence or externality to third-parties who may be complicit within sexual assault scenarios? (Levy and Ben-David 2008)- likewise, some scholars argue that there are no bystanders in sexual violence, because all of us are internal experiencers and contributors to the culture that normalizes violence (Katz et al 2011, McCarry 2007).

Often, approaches to sexual violence within the US focus on rape avoidance, which implies women’s responsibility for managing men’s sexual violence and women’s responsibility for preventing their own victimhood – many programs solely recruit or educate women, instead of addressing an under-approached demographic of men (see also Ullman 2007). Instead, bystander programs work against victim blame and to challenge cultural norms that normalize rape. Traditional approaches to rape education are not well-received by men who often feel as if they’re cast as potential perpetrators  (Brecklin and Forde 2001).


Brecklin, L.R. and D.R. Forde. 2001. “A Meta-Analysis of Rape Education Programs.” Violence and Victims 16(3):303-321.

Katz, J., H.A. Heisterkamp, W.M. Fleming. 2011. “The Social Justice Roots of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Model and Its Application in High School Setting.” Violence Against Women 17:684-702.

McCarry, M. 2007. “Masculinity Studies and Male Violence: Critique or Collusion?” Women’s Studies International Forum 30(5): 404-415.

Ullman, S.E. 2007. “A 10-Year Update of ‘Review and Critique of Empirical Studies of Rape Avoidance.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 34(3): 411-429.


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