Be More Than a Bystander

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 its inception, this initiative has continuously gained momentum and broadened its audience. Now in its sixth year, publicity impressions are conservatively estimated to be in the hundreds of millions, it has won several awards, been highlighted in a global session at the United Nations in New York, and was directly responsible for a number of spin-off campaigns across Canada that include the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Football Saskatchewan. In August 2015, the groundwork laid by this initiative led to the development of the Canadian Football League’s Policy on Violence Against Women, a policy that applies to all CFL players, coaches, officials, executives and staff across Canada. The highly successful youth education component connected BC Lions spokespersons in-person with more than 80,000 students throughout British Columbia in the first six years through in-school presentations. Additional special events like youth conferences bring the total audience reached in-person close to 100,000.

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.

Find news articles and more in Bystander In the News

To see more Be More Than a Bystander PSAs and videos, check out EVA TV on YouTube

If you have inquiries about Be More Than A Bystander, please contact Jessica Lee at