Welcome to Be More Than a Bystander, a groundbreaking partnership between the BC Lions and EVA BC that sees sports icons from the BC Lions using their status and public profile to create awareness and urge everyone to “Break the Silence on Violence Against Women”. Founding partners of the Be More Than a Bystander initiative are Status of Women Canada, the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development and Encana Corporation.
When Be More Than a Bystander launched in 2011, the four main components of the program were to develop a broad public awareness campaign featuring BC Lions players, develop a curriculum and teaching materials for a school program and train BC Lions to deliver in-person presentations in schools throughout BC, deliver training to football coaches in the province on how to talk to kids about violence against women and respectful relationships, and create a film that would appeal to youth with positive messaging that it is ‘cool’ to respect women and the importance of bystanders speaking up to prevent violence against women and girls.
Since it began, this highly successful campaign has just kept growing. After its first two years alone, the campaign’s reach was conservatively estimated to be in excess of 80 million views through television, radio, public signage and other media. The campaign has also won several awards, been highlighted in a global session at the United Nations and been directly responsible for a number of spin-off campaigns across Canada. In light of the huge positive response Be More Than a Bystander is receiving, it is clear that the idea of engaging men and boys as allies to prevent violence against women and girls is an idea whose time has come.