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STOP-sexual violence: evaluation of a community-based nightlife worker awareness raising bystander training programme

Quigg, Z., Bellis, M.A., Hughes, K., Kulhanek, A., Brito, I., Ross-Houle, K., Bigland, C., Calafat, A., Duch, M., the STOP-SV group

(2021) European Journal of Public Health, 1-6, doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckaa245



Preventing sexual violence in nightlife environments is a pervasive issue across many countries. This study explored the associated impact of a nightlife worker sexual violence awareness raising/bystander training programme (STOP-SV) on trainees’ sexual violence myth acceptance and readiness and confidence to intervene.

Pre- and post-test (n = 118), and 3-month follow-up (n = 38) trainee surveys were implemented across three countries (Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain). Paired-sample tests examined changes across time-periods in participants’ myth acceptance (e.g. unwanted sexual advances are a normal part of a night out), and readiness and confidence to intervene. Multi-nominal regression was used to examine the relationship between the change in pre-to-post-training scores and trainee characteristics.

Compared to pre-training, post-training participants were significantly (P < 0.01) less likely to agree with sexual violence myths, and more likely to be ready and confident to intervene. In bi-variate and multi-variate analyses, we found no significant associations between the change in pre-to-post-training scores and trainee characteristics. Analyses of the small follow-up sub-sample illustrated some positive changes at the post-training and follow-up time-periods (i.e. reduction in sexual violence myth acceptance).

This exploratory study suggests that the STOP-SV training programme was associated with a decrease in trainees’ acceptance of sexual violence myths, and an increase in their readiness and confidence to intervene. Our findings support the case for further implementation and evaluation of awareness raising/bystander programmes for nightlife workers that aim to prevent and respond to sexual violence.