Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does MVP Strategies work with all genders?

Yes. MVP started out as an all-male program in the early 1990s, but for the past 25 years the program has been mixed-gender. MVP focuses on everyone as empowered bystanders who can confront and interrupt abusive behaviors. Young (and older) men, women, and others often have significant differences in their options for intervention, because the social pressures on them are different. MVP also places special emphasis on discussions of gender norms in male and female peer cultures, and their relation to incidents of abuse. These kinds of issues are often heartily discussed in MVP workshops, which typically feature both single-sex and mixed-gender breakouts.

2. Is MVP Strategies primarily for student-athletes, or can other young people participate as well?

Because MVP began in sports culture and still retains some sports terminology in its name and materials, many people misperceive it as a program that is geared only at athletes. This is incorrect. MVP works with all populations of students, community members, and professionals in the public and private sectors. It is true that we have by far the most experience of any sexual assault and relationship abuse prevention program in working with student-athletes, coaches, and athletic administrators at the high school, college, and professional level. But MVP is not, nor ever has been, exclusively a “sports” program.

3. Does MVP Strategies work with high school students?

Yes. MVP has a long history of working in high schools, especially in the Greater Boston area, throughout the state of Iowa, and across the country of Scotland. MVP is well-suited to work in high schools as both a gender violence and a bullying prevention program. (See “High Schools” on this site). Some MVP curricular materials are designed specifically for high school students. Data are available about MVP’s effectiveness in high school settings in the evaluation section of this site.

4. Does MVP Strategies work with college students outside of athletics?

Yes. MVP Strategies provides a wide range of trainings for men, women and other college and university students, including everything from presentations at new student orientations and other campus-wide events, to intensive leadership trainings for RA’s, Greeks officers, student government leaders, and other campus opinion leaders. While work with athletic departments is crucial, this work is best understood as part of a coordinated campus response.

5. Does MVP Strategies incorporate culturally competent approaches to training?

Since its inception, MVP has been staffed and led by multiracial training teams that incorporate culturally competent sensibilities and pedagogical strategies. MVP’s flexibility to address a wide range of issues and perspectives is one of its greatest strengths as a teaching and learning approach. MVP has been successfully implemented with racially and ethnically diverse student populations in urban and suburban school districts, athletic programs at small elite colleges and large state universities, and other setting across the U.S. and the world.

6. There are several other “bystander” programs in the sexual and relationship abuse prevention area. What distinguishes MVP Strategies from the others?

MVP is the first and longest-running program to employ the bystander approach to prevention. Its educational philosophy emphasizes interactive dialogue, which makes training sessions dynamic and interactive. While it works in both mixed-gender and single-sex formats, MVP is the program with the most experience and success working with men in the dominant cultures of athletics, fraternities, and the military. It also is the program most identified with a “social justice”-oriented approach to prevention. For example, while MVP trainings feature exercises that assist people in developing the skills to effectively intervene in situations of harassment, abuse, or violence, they also feature explicit discussions of the gender, sexual, racial, and class factors that impact whether people (men, women, and others) are likely to interrupt or intervene in various situations.

7. What is the process for setting up an MVP Strategies training-of-trainers?

Please contact [email protected] and request information about setting up a training. Trainings of trainers are typically conducted by mixed-gender training teams (two people) and can include approximately 30 participants.

8. I want to attend an MVP Strategies training. What opportunities are available?

Trainings are held around the country at various sites; some are open to the public while others are targeted to specific communities. Please consult the “Upcoming Trainings” section of this site for information about MVP Strategies trainings in your area.

9. How do I go about becoming qualified/credentialed to be an MVP Strategies trainer?

Upon completion of a two- or three-day training of trainers, participants often receive certificates of completion and are qualified to lead MVP sessions. There is currently no uniform body authorized to certify “official” MVP trainers.

10. Is MVP evidence-based? Has it been evaluated in college and high school settings?

Yes. MVP has been evaluated in a variety of different contexts. Click here for more information and evaluation data.

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