MYM Missoula


# MYM Missoula: Promoting Bystander Approaches to Prevent Sexual Violence

## Promoting Positive Social Norms Through Bystander Approaches

Bystander approaches engage individuals in preventing sexual violence by promoting social norms that are positive in their communities. When people are trained in bystander intervention, they learn the skills needed to intervene in potentially harmful situations.

## Make Your Move Council in Missoula, Montana

Brenna Merrill coordinates the Make Your Move Council in Missoula, Montana. This council consists of violence-prevention agencies focused on preventing sexual violence, specifically targeting sexual harassment. By creating a community culture that does not tolerate sexual harassment, the council aims to stop these behaviors from occurring.

## The Importance of Bystander Intervention

Bystander intervention involves individuals standing up for one another and ensuring everyone feels safe and comfortable. By looking out for one another, a culture is created where sexual harassment is deemed unacceptable. This approach is essential in changing behaviors and promoting positive social norms.

## Empowering Bartenders and Bar Owners

Working with bartenders and bar owners to create environments free from sexual harassment is crucial. Bartenders have the authority in their establishments to address inappropriate behavior and make patrons feel safe. The Make Your Move program provides staff with the confidence to identify and intervene in such situations.

## Everyone Plays a Role in Prevention

Every individual, whether a paid professional, bartender, or community member, has a role in sexual violence prevention. By addressing the systems that enable sexual harassment and assault, positive change can be achieved. Bystander approaches empower people to step in and stop harmful behaviors.

## Promising Prevention Approaches

While Make Your Move has not yet been rigorously evaluated, other adaptations of bystander interventions have proven successful in decreasing rape myths and increasing positive bystander behavior. Bystander programs are featured in the CDC’s technical packages to prevent sexual violence and intimate partner violence, offering promising prevention strategies for communities. Utilizing these packages can help prevent violence and promote a safer environment for all.


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