Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program, Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, Boston, MA


Contact Name: Jeff O’Brien
Phone Number: (617) 373-7651
E-mail: jobmvp@aol.com
Key Words: (1) Mixed gender and male only; (2) college, high school, and middle school age; (3) racially diverse; (4) university, high school, and middle school setting; (5) multiple session, curriculum based, and one-time workshop
Population served
This prevention program serves approximately 350 high school students per year with its Train-the-Trainer program. The program is delivered to racially diverse, mixed- and single-gender groups in middle schools, high schools, military schools, and universities. It also serves more than 1,000 college students per year with awareness-raising presentations.
Medium used to convey message
The program uses the MVP curriculum, which is a multiple-session training regimen (six or seven 2-hour sessions; 2- to 3-month timeframe). Male and female participants explore with MVP trainers different types of abuse and the ways in which this abuse touches their lives.
The Train-the-Trainer program involves graduates of the MVP program. Students learn public speaking and group facilitation skills in preparation for conducting their own awareness-raising workshops with younger students in their schools. The program delivers activities based on the empowered bystander approach. The program is a gender violence prevention and education program, which views student athletes and student leaders not as potential perpetrators or victims but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
The primary goals of the program are to affect knowledge change, attitude change, and efficacy (are people more likely to intervene). The specific goals for the program vary according to gender.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
The program was created in 1993 by Jackson Katz.
Level of evaluation
The program completed a 3-year mixed-methods evaluation. This involved pre- and post-testing of knowledge and attitudes measuring the efficacy of the program. The evaluation focused specifically on the MVP Massachusetts high school initiative, funded primarily through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Staff capacity
The program is facilitated by mixed-gender, multiracial teams. The high school Train-the-Trainer programs involve a 15-hour training course. The college and professional-level Train-the-Trainer programs involve three 8-hour days. Approximately 15 hours of that time is used to raise awareness, and the final hours are used to teach the trainers how to present the materials.