The Syracuse University Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program is a peer leadership program that involves training Syracuse University and SUNY ESF students to facilitate conversations with their peers about what each of us can do to prevent sexual, relationship and other forms of interpersonal violence. Students have the potential to be leaders who model actions that can prevent harmful behavior, thus becoming Empowered Bystanders.
The MVP Program recognizes that most students are not potential perpetrators or victims of violent behavior, but sexual and relationship violence affect every one of us. Each individual can take action that can lead toward a safer, more caring campus environment. The goals of the MVP program at Syracuse University are to raise awareness of many forms of interpersonal violence, introduce students to the concept of becoming Empowered Bystanders and guide them in a process of developing strategies for intervening safely before violence occurs, thereby de-escalating risky situations. By exploring various responses to different scenarios, students increase their ability and likelihood to act when actually faced with potentially violent situations.
Student leaders are trained to become MVP Peer Facilitators who can facilitate discussions among their peers about interpersonal violence, including topics such as gender roles, types of abuse, alcohol and consent, harassment, and homophobia. These peer facilitators then work in mixed gender teams of students to facilitate workshops with other students on these topics. Peer facilitators are not expected to be experts on sexual or relationship violence or violence prevention. Their role is to open up discussion among their peers about these issues, to create a safe environment where students can talk about such topics as how to respond to actual or potential abuse or harassment, how to intervene with peers who evidence gender bias and how to support peers who are targeted by sexual and relationship violence.
The MVP Program, founded in 1993 at Northeastern University, was originally designed to train male and female student athletes to use their status to speak out against rape, dating violence, harassment, homophobia, and all other forms of violent and abusive behavior. At Syracuse University, the MVP program has been extended to involve students all across campus.
Interested in becoming an MVP Peer Facilitator, or want more information on volunteering with the Office of Health Promotion? Please access our volunteer form here: Volunteer Application Form