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Be More Than a Bystander

Welcome to Be More Than a Bystander, a ground-breaking 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 program had four main goals: develop a broad public awareness campaign featuring BC Lions players; create school curriculum and teaching materials 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 the positive message that it is ‘cool’ to respect women and that bystanders must speak up to prevent violence against women and girls.

Since its inception, Be More Than a Bystander has continuously gained momentum and broadened its audience, resulting in hundreds of millions of publicity impressions. It has won several awards and has been highlighted in a global session at the United Nations in New York. This innovative program 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, which applies to all CFL players, coaches, officials, executives, and staff across Canada. Through in-person presentations to BC high school and post-secondary students, Indigenous communities, workplaces, and others, Bystander spokespersons have directly reached hundreds of thousands of people.

At its core, the Be More Than a Bystander model recognizes that  the vast majority of men do not commit violence against women. Instead, they care deeply about the women and girls in their lives and in the world. We ask those men to take ownership and play an active role in creating positive change. Many people welcome and support this approach. From the beginning, enthusiasm for this 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, we offer the Be More Than A Bystander program 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.

Every year, we produce new PSAs, showcase them on the jumbotron during BC Lions home games, and play them 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, drafted in October 2019, 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.

Contact

If you have inquiries about Be More Than A Bystander, please contact Ninu Kang at kang (at) endingviolence (dot) org.