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Mentors in Violence Prevention



MVP - Mentors in Violence Prevention

MVP stands for mentors in violence prevention and is an approach to gender violence and bullying prevention. MVP is a program founded in 1993 at Northeastern University, it was initially a program that was designed to train male and female high school students to become leaders and use their status to speak out against rape, dating violence sexual harassment, bullying and all forms of violent and abusive behaviour. The MVP Model utilises a creative ‘bystander’ approach to gender violence and bullying prevention. The heart of the MVP is the discussion, using real life scenarios that speak to the experiences of young men and women in high school.

Bellahouston Academy has proudly taken the chance to use this program within our school. As well as encouraging our young people to speak up this program has enabled S5/6 pupils to enhance their leadership and confidence skills.

The process included two phases:

Phase One:

  • Teachers were trained in the MVP program outside of school by professional MVP trainers. The fully trained teachers then trained up S5/S6 volunteers. The main aims of the training were
  • To identify a behaviour or incident as wrong and not a laughable matter
  • To clearly detail the responsibility of bystanders to support friends in need and to challenge friends who are being abusive or bullying.
  • To explore a range of safe intervention options for bystanders.

Phase Two:

  • The fully trained S5/6 pupils had to prepare three scenarios, which they would be teaching to S1 pupils in the coming months.
  • The aim of the teaching the S1 pupils was to make them more aware of harassment/ bullying issues and encourage them to take action and not be bystanders when they see bullying or harassment.
  • The first time the senior pupils had to teach the S1 pupils were on the 8th and 9th of March. The seniors were put in groups of five or six and assigned a registration class to teach.
  • This was one of three sessions the seniors will be having with their assigned registration groups.

So far the program is proving to be very successful and we are receiving very good feedback from the S1 pupils. Overall the main feedback was that they understood the message the seniors were trying to get across about not being bystanders and taking action. They felt comfortable talking to them and said they would not be shy in approaching them if any incident did occur.  The mentors made a connection with the smaller year group and so far the program has been successful as a whole.

As the program progresses into its final stages for this year we hope to change the mind-sets of all our S1 pupils. We want them to speak up and take action against bullying, harassment or violence. In the words of Martin Luther King, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends’”. This statement is one that should motivate us to take action against anything no matter who is the victim, whether it be one of our friends, our family member or even  a stranger because in the end that stranger is a child, a sibling or a  friend to someone. And if something happened to that individual and we could have stopped it then ultimately we are also to blame for.

As Bellahouston Academy we would like to thank all the teachers and students who are participating in this program and hope to redo this program every year.