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Avon Foundation for Women grant to help develop bystander intervention training

Annelise Mennicke and Kori Pruett.

Florida State University will use a $5,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to develop a bystander intervention training program that has the potential to educate thousands of students about realistic, safe and authentic ways to help prevent sexual violence on campus.

The grant — one of 30 Avon campus grants awarded this year to activate bystanders to reduce sexual assault, dating abuse and stalking — will enable Annelise Mennicke (pictured far left), a researcher with the Florida Center for Prevention Research, and Kori Pruett (pictured near left), the sexual violence prevention coordinator with University Health Services, to attend a weeklong bystander intervention training program that will serve as the basis for Florida State’s upcoming training program.

Bystander intervention is a major component of Florida State’s kNOw MOREawareness campaign aimed at preventing sexual violence on campus.

“Beginning in the spring of 2015, we have a target of hosting at minimum four bystander intervention trainings for the Florida State community in a room with a capacity of 250. That’s a conservative estimate for our first semester. In subsequent semesters, the numbers of students who participate in this training can only expand,” said Mennicke, who is also an FSU College of Social Work doctoral candidate focusing on domestic and sexual violence, and a co-chair of the Curriculum Development Committee, part of the university’s Presidential Task Force on Sexual Violence Prevention.

Once Florida State’s bystander intervention training is up and running, it will serve the entire campus community — men and women, undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty and staff members.

This fall, Mennicke and Pruett will attend professional training programs offered by Green Dot, which help organizations implement strategies of violence prevention that consistently and measurably reduce power-based violence, with a heavy emphasis on bystander intervention.

The application for the Avon Foundation for Women grant was a joint effort of the Florida Center for Prevention Research, the university’s Victim Advocate Program and the university Health and Wellness Center’s Office of Health Promotion, which is supported by the Women’s Student Union, the Office of Greek Life and Florida State Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Coburn.

Mennicke and Pruett applied for the grant with Richard Howell, a senior research associate with the Florida Center for Prevention Research.

Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence

The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through 2013, the Avon Foundation for Women has donated nearly $38 million in the United States to support domestic violence programs, services and education. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in nearly 50 countries by raising funds through special product sales and educating women around the world through its army of more than 6 million Avon representatives. For more information, visit

By Jeffery Seay
2 October 2014