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.


About the Program

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 high 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, Be More Than a Bystander has continuously gained momentum and broadened its audience. 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 is 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 Be More Than a Bystander 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. In-person presentations to BC high school and post-secondary students, Indigenous communities, workplaces and the like have brought the number of people reached directly by Bystander spokespersons into the hundreds of thousands.

Central to the Be More Than a Bystander model is the recognition that the vast majority of men do not commit violence against women, but rather care deeply about the women and girls in their lives and in the world, and then asking those men to take ownership and play an active role in creating positive change. This approach is welcomed and supported by many. From the beginning, enthusiasm for the program has continued to grow, leaving no doubt that engaging men and boys as allies to “Break the Silence on Violence Against Women” is an idea whose time has come.

Training Options

In addition to presentations in high schools, the Be More Than A Bystander program is also offered to post-secondary institutions, workplaces, Indigenous communities, and as a keynote or community-wide special presentation on a fee-for-service basis. Find out more about Bystander Training options.

News Media

Find news articles, announcements, and other links about our Be More Than A Bystander Program Bystander In the News feed.

PSAs and Videos

Be More Than A Bystander PSAs, scenario videos, and other film clips can be viewed on our EVA BC YouTube Page.

Our PSAs are produced annually and are showcased on the jumbotron during BC Lions home games, and played on various television and radio networks.

Our scenario videos are used in our in-person trainings. We invite you to share them and any of our Be More Than A Bystander clips on YouTube.

Code of Conduct

A Code of Conduct was drafted in October 2019, and applies to Club Personnel associated with the BC Lions Community Partnerships department and programs, including all those associated with the Be More Than A Bystander Program: Code of Conduct.

Complaints Process

A Complaints Process was drafted in January 2020 outlining EVA BC and the BC Lions Football Club’s commitment to providing the public with a clear complaints process for the Be More Than a Bystander Program as it relates to any inappropriate or criminal behaviour on the part of a member of the BC Lions, EVA BC or anyone else connected to the Bystander program: Complaints Process.


If you have inquiries about Be More Than A Bystander, please contact Jessica Lee at ccws (at) endingviolence (dot) org.