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Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP): Men and Women Together for Change!

Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) motivates both men and women to play a central role in solving problems that historically have been considered “women’s issues:” rape, battery, and sexual harassment. MVP provides the leadership necessary, within sport and beyond, to address the global issues of sexism – especially men’s violence against women. In our advocacy efforts and training programs, we educate, inspire and empower men & women to prevent, interrupt and respond to sexist abuse.

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The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program, co-created by Jackson Katz in 1993, is a leadership program focused on preventing all forms of violence against women. The multi-racial, mixed gender MVP Program is the first large-scale attempt to enlist high school, collegiate and professional athletes in the fight against this violence. 


The MVP Program motivates men and women to work together in preventing men’s violence against women. MVP was a paradigm-shifter in 1993 by introducing bystander intervention to the domestic and sexual violence prevention field. The MVP bystander 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.

MVP trainings are facilitated discussions, not lectures. They are highly interactive. Awareness Raising and Train the Trainer trainings are utilized to develop concrete options for participants to employ during a range of school or social situations – ranging from inappropriate comments to physical abuse. Additionally, the trainings open dialogue regarding participant leadership around issues such as: the social construction of masculinity as it relates to unhealthy behavior, sexual objectification of women, sexual harassment, battering and sexual assault. 

MVP Goals:
  • Raise participant awareness of underlying issues and unique dynamics of all forms of men’s violence against women
  • Challenge participants to think critically and personally (empathize) about these issues 
  • Open dialogue amongst participants about the dynamics and context of all forms of men’s violence against women
  • Inspire participants to be proactive leaders around these issues bychallenging them to develop concrete options for intervention in potentially dangerous social situations involving teammates and friends

What makes MVP unique?
  • MVP trainers are a diverse group of former athletes, who capitalize on the elevated status of athletics in our culture to establish connections with participants in highly effective ways.
  • MVP specializes in working with the most difficult-to-reach groups, having worked extensively with fraternities, college sport, professional sport and the military for more than a decade.
  • MVP is an industry leader. MVP was on the cutting-edge in the early nineties, introducing the bystander approach to prevention to the domestic and sexual violence prevention field – since having developed a deep understanding of it through thousands of training sessions with a wide-range of groups. 
  • MVP teaches concrete bystander intervention skills for use in the most difficult situations.
  • MVP employs a discussion-based educational philosophy to make training sessions dynamic and interactive. MVP trainings are not lectures.
  • MVP utilizes original teaching materials including MVP Playbooks which consist of realistic social scenarios involving various forms of men’s violence against women.
  • MVP teaches basic media literacy skills by helping participants deconstruct mainstream images related to men’s violence against women.
  • MVP trainings provide the context necessary to empower participants to be proactive bystanders.
  • MVP works with men and women in both mixed and single gender sessions.
  • MVP staff creates a “safe space” for participants to learn from one another.
  • MVP is highly replicable, allowing organizations to utilize the curriculum long after the initial training.

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Photo of Janice Wong

What a great program. Thanks for posting it. I particularly like that it originated from Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport as the athletic subculture has been resistant and reluctant to embrace gender violence prevention education. Also with the influence that male athletes possess in establishing or maintaining traditional masculine norms, their support can lend such programs enormous credibility and trust.