The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program, founded in 1993 by Sport in Society at Northeastern University, motivates athletes and leaders to play a central role in solving problems that historically have been considered “women’s issues” including: rape, battering, and sexual harassment.
Until recently, few campus or community-based programs have encouraged young men to work actively on these issues. The MVP Program motivates men and women to work together in preventing men’s violence against women. Utilizing the unique bystander approach to prevention, men and women take back the power and shed stigma often associated with bystanders. Participants learn to serve as role models working to prevent violence and confront abusive peers. The approach does not involve finger pointing, nor does it blame participants for the widespread problems of gender violence. Instead, it sounds a positive call for proactive, preventive behavior, and leadership.
The Level of the Problem
- Battering is the single leading cause of injury to women in the United States more than rape, auto accidents, and muggings combined. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
- Girls and young women from various socioeconomic and racial backgrounds experience sexual harassment on a daily basis. (Stein, Nan. Sexual Harassment in School: The Public Performance of Gendered Violence)
- One in six college women reported being the victim of rape or attempted rape in the preceding year. (National Victim Center)