Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Salina Renninger; Bryana French


Rape and sexual assault continue to be threats to communities and individuals across the United States, with college-age students, in particular, at high risk for sexual violence. Colleges and Universities have been making efforts to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault. As part of this effort, most schools design and implement programs focused on reducing sexual assault before it occurs through the use of “primary prevention programs.” Programming designed to elicit men's involvement through bystander interventions has been found to be effective in increasing men's willingness to intervene. Male facilitators usually deliver programs aimed toward male students. In an effort to understand how to improve sexual assault prevention, six male violence prevention educators (VPEs) with the University of Minnesota's Aurora Center were interviewed. Four main themes were identified along the overall continuum of acceptance and change to answer the main research question; how do we best engage in sexual assault prevention? The themes included; infusion of empathy and understanding into programming, redefining masculinity, prevention and intervention occur on a spectrum, and men as collaborators. Each theme points toward considerations of what is working already bystander interventions and participant driven discussion, and future areas for implementation and research. The integration of counseling psychology approaches, such as in The Transtheoretical Model, Gender Role Conflict, Gender Role Journey, and Motivational Interviewing into prevention programs are discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.